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The Debt [Blu-ray]

Helen Mirren , Sam Worthington , John Madden    Blu-ray
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 26.99
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The Debt fuses physical and moral peril as it fuses past and present. In the contemporary half of the story, ex-Mossad agent Rachel Singer (Helen Mirren) tells and retells the story of how she and her fellow agents David Peretz (Ciarán Hinds, Rome) and Stephan Gold (Tom Wilkinson, In the Bedroom) captured and killed a Nazi war criminal. But in flashbacks to Cold War East Berlin, younger versions of Rachel, David, and Stephan (Jessica Chastain, Sam Worthington, and Marton Csokas, respectively) play out a significantly different series of events--and the gap between past and present takes its toll on all three in different (and in one case gut-wrenching) ways. Though Mirren, Hinds, and Wilkinson are a powerhouse trio, it's the Cold War scenes that take hold of the viewer. Jesper Christensen (as the Nazi) invests his conversations with Chastain and Worthington with silky insinuation and taunting contempt, building a devastating suspense. Fans accustomed to Worthington in his action-movie roles (Avatar, Clash of the Titans) will be surprised by the gentle vulnerability he shows here, but it's Chastain (The Tree of Life) who captures the movie's emotional core. She and Mirren perform a strange collaboration that can only happen in the movies, building a fierce and brittle woman out of their complementary performances. --Bret Fetzer

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Karma has a way of seeking you out Jan. 26 2012
By L. Power HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
I go to movies all the time while in release, one to two a week. Seeing Jessica Chastain in both The Help, and Tree of Life, made me decide to see The Debt.

Director John Madden directed Shakespeare in Love which won 7 Academy Awards including, Best Actress for Gwyneth Paltrow, and Best Supporting Actress for Judi Dench. He also directed Prime Suspect 3 starring both Helen Mirren and Ciaran Hinds, who both star in The Debt; and a favorite of mine, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, starring Nicholas Cage, Penelope Cruz, And Christian Bale.

I did something I rarely do, I went back for a second look. I have also seen the original movie The Debt, an Israeli thriller.

The Debt parallels real events and characters. Mossad agents abducted Eichmann in Argentina in 1961, tried him in Israel, and executed him. The notorious Dr Mengele, the butcher of Auschwitz fled to South America, and narrowly escaped capture by Mossad in Argentina fleeing to Paraguay, and then Brazil. Birkenau is known also as Auschwitz Birkenau. Twenty four surgeons experimented on human captives, often performing unnecessary surgical operations without anaesthetic.

In 1965, a rookie Mossad agent played by Jessica Chastain, crosses Checkpoint Charlie and joins two male agents in East Berlin, to identify and kidnap the notorious surgeon of Birkenau, now a gynaecologist. She must pose as a patient, and subject herself to the cold probings of her intimate place by the butcher, and take close up photos without arousing suspicion.

Photographs of his terrible deeds haunt her and fill her with apprehension and fear. Photographs of smiling babies adorn his waiting room wall. A man once charged with taking life, now bringing life into the world.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Karma has a way of seeking you out Oct. 13 2011
By L. Power HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
I go to movies all the time while in release, one to two a week. Seeing Jessica Chastain in both The Help, and Tree of Life, made me decide to see The Debt, my favorite moviegoing experience of the year.

Director John Madden directed Shakespeare in Love which won 7 Academy Awards including, Best Actress for Gwyneth Paltrow, and Best Supporting Actress for Judi Dench. He also directed Prime Suspect 3 starring both Helen Mirren and Ciaran Hinds, who both star in The Debt; and a favorite of mine, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, starring Nicholas Cage, Penelope Cruz, And Christian Bale.

I did something I rarely do, I went back for a second look. I have also seen the original movie The Debt [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.2 Import - United Kingdom ] available on cable on demand.

The Debt parallels real events and characters. Mossad agents abducted Eichmann in Argentina in 1961, tried him in Israel, and executed him. The notorious Dr Mengele, the butcher of Auschwitz fled to South America, and narrowly escaped capture by Mossad in Argentina fleeing to Paraguay, and then Brazil. Birkenau is known also as Auschwitz Birkenau. Twenty four surgeons experimented on human captives, often performing unnecessary surgical operations without anaesthetic.

In 1965, a rookie Mossad agent played by Jessica Chastain, crosses Checkpoint Charlie and joins two male agents in East Berlin, to identify and kidnap the notorious surgeon of Birkenau, now a gynaecologist. She must pose as a patient, and subject herself to the cold probings of her intimate place by the butcher, and take close up photos without arousing suspicion.

Photographs of his terrible deeds haunt her and fill her with apprehension and fear. In his office photos of smiling babies decorate his waiting room wall.
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1.0 out of 5 stars One Star July 14 2014
By Barr G.
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Boring
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4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing Film About Bringing Evil to Justice April 8 2014
By Moodywoody TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
The debt is an intense film in that it portrays the determination of a traumatized people, that is the Jews of Israel, to bring to justice an evil and notorious Nazi war criminal who tortured and murdered concentration camp prisoners under the guise of medical scientific research. Based on the war criminal Dr. Mengele, the film portrays the efforts of Mossaid agents to capture and bring to justice this war criminal by having him stand trial in Israel. Things do not go according to plan, and as a consequence, a dark secret is created that torments the conscience of the agents.

There is a certain anguish about this film. The film aptly describes the emotional pain and suffering of the Jewish people in regard to the atrocities that were done to them by the Nazis, how even though the war may be over, the psychic angst continues unabated. The film explores how many in Israel have personal experience of family members who were murdered by the Nazis, and the seething anger to find justice against the perpetuators. The agents experience a moral grey zone in their pursuit of justice, to the point that they violate certain moral principles in the process and articulate a fear of becoming too much like the criminal they pursue. Should they kill the innocent to capture the guilty, hide the truth, or torture a vile human being like the war criminal they captured.

Overall, a good film even though the subject matter is disturbing and intense.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Debt Dec 6 2013
By airbears TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Wonderful work by the actors. No surprise considering their list of credits. Hard to watch. But the best films often are. Especially when they are based on historical events.
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