A fairly good drama with a lot of intrigue bows at local movie theatres starring a fine cast. Although the actors do an excellent job of portraying the interesting characters, the story gets muddled a bit with questions of reality. If you like films geared to getting you incensed about Nazi war crimes then The Debt is worth a look.
The film centers on Stephan and David, two Israeli Nazi war criminal hunters who get an assignment to track down a Dr. Vogel in Russian occupied East Berlin during the 60’s wall era. Stephen and David have Vogel ready for capture but they need someone to be the patient in their plan. Rachel, a retired agent accepts the assignment and meets up with Stephen and David in the dangerous occupied zone. Although the capture takes a turn for the worse, the three find themselves heroes. Years later, a horrible secret comes to a head.
Intrigue saves The Debt from an early downfall in this fictional account of the capture of a Nazi war criminal. Stellar acting helps the drama unfold nicely as the story skips from one era to another and back again. I enjoyed the determination showed by the actors to make their characters real and fallible, but the story in my estimation gets implausible.
The twist here is not how they perceive the hunt and capture to work, but that no matter how intricate the caper the consequences would have been accepted, especially if you are an Israeli secret agent and true to the cause. This bothered me and no matter how I played it in my mind I could not come up accepting the outcome of the film. I would be interested in finding out if any of my readers come up with the same conclusion.
John Madden does a good job of separating the past and present in The Debt. Weaving the crime to the injustice, and then infusing the final justice, Madden keeps his audience on edge till the final twist of fate. Although he did his job, the failed script becomes the loser here.
The film is rated R for some violence and language, but be aware that there are some very brutal scenes.
FINAL ANALYSIS: The production flaw here is in the script. (C )