The Courier (12A)
The Courier (12A)
Director: Dominic Cooke
Runtime: 112 minutes
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Merab Ninidze, Rachel Brosnahan, Jessie Buckley, Angus Wright, Anton Lesser, Keir Hills
Synopsis The Courier is a true-life spy thriller, the story of an unassuming British businessman Greville Wynne recruited into one of the greatest international conflicts in history. At the behest of the UK’s MI-6 and a CIA operative, he forms a covert, dangerous partnership with Soviet officer Oleg Penkovsky in an effort to provide crucial intelligence needed to prevent a nuclear confrontation and defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis.
From writer and theatre director Dominic Cooke [The Hollow Crown (2016), On Chesil Beach (2017) and Follies], The Courier is a true-life spy thriller, the story of an unassuming British businessman Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) recruited into one of the greatest international conflicts in history. At the behest of the UK’s MI-6 and a CIA operative (Rachel Brosnahan), he forms a covert, dangerous partnership with Soviet military intelligence (GRU) Colonel Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze) in an effort to provide crucial intelligence needed to prevent a nuclear confrontation and defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962.
The Courier is a stirring and effective old-school period espionage adventure elevated by a thrilling fact-based story and Benedict Cumberbatch’s anxious, on-edge masterful central performance.
British businessman Greville Wynne (Cumberbatch) is living in London, married to Sheila (Jessie Buckley) with one young son. He is a successful cross-international-borders purveyor of various industrial needs, living a comfortable, modestly affluent existence with a secure future, but on short notice, he finds an unlikely higher calling and heroically puts it all on the line when he is recruited by CIA official Emily Donovan (Rachel Brosnahan) and MI6 agent Dickie Franks (Angus Wright) and asked to pose as a business partner of Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze) in order to gain intelligence relating to Soviet missiles being transported to Cuba.
The Courier is the incredible true story of a British spy and Russian sleeper agent and the friendship that then blossoms between these two men as they routinely risk their lives for the greater good.
Both men risk everything in a danger-fraught race against time to provide the intelligence needed to prevent nuclear confrontation and end the Cuban Missile Crisis.
With a score from Abel Korzeniowski particularly effective in the tense, second half of the film, The Courier is well paced, nicely shot and directed and scripted by Tom O’Connor and features an outstanding ensemble of great acting talent
Images courtesy of : LIONSGATE