Film Review: Our Kind of Traitor

by Evan Brown

Rated M. Starring Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris, Stellan Skarsgård. Directed by Susanna White.

I have a friend who I have known for a considerable time who often says, “I could be easily lured into the underworld. That whole world excites me.”

Whilst the statement is delivered for comedic purposes, I can tell there is always a hint of truth behind it. Myself, on the other hand, could not be more terrified of that world. From watching eight seasons of The Sopranos and The Godfather trilogy, I know that your life expectancy is particularly shortened dramatically upon entering… If it’s on TV it must be true right?

Our Kind of Traitor sees a normal English couple thrown into the midst of the Russian mafia and the English Secret Service with both sides using them to their advantage. This is the latest film adaptation of a book written by John Le Carre and due to the success of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy expectations are high. On a romantic weekend away in Marrakech, Perry and Gail (McGregor and Harris) are approached by a high profile Russian Oligarch (Skarsgård) asking for their help. This Oligarch (known as Dima) is the head of accounts for the Russian Mafia and knows every in-and-out dealing that goes on in Europe. Dima explains to Perry that there is a new boss in town killing every top tier Oligarch and their families. Desperate to save the ones he loves, Dima volunteers to become an informant for the English Secret Service in exchange for protection. Perry and Gail are thrusted into a whirlwind journey of politics, violence and betrayal between the English government and the Russian Mafia.

It is very clear that Dima deeply cares for the well-being of his family and ultimately puts their needs before his own.  In a conversation with Perry, Dima cries, “I don’t care what happens to me, as long as my family are safe!” It’s a very touching scene seeing a fully tattooed Russian Oligarch explain in desperation that he would lay his life down for the safety of his family. This utter devotion and love for his family reminded me of God’s love towards us. We see the deepest of love shown towards us through Christ’s sacrifice. Romans 5:8 says:

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Jesus gave his own life so that we could be saved. God loved us so much that this is what he did to ensure our safety.

In a summer film season littered with blockbuster flops, Our Kind of Traitor slips under the radar and delivers. Unencumbered by computer graphics, long action sequences and emotional fan build up, Our Kind of Traitor delivers a convincing and intriguing plot with believable characters and convincing actors. Like during Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat in suspense throughout most of movie.

The Verdict: If you enjoy a good espionage film or even just a film that has substance then I would recommend checking this one out. 3.5/5

Our Kind of Traitor releases in Australian cinemas today. It is already screening in the USA and UK.

For more film reviews from a Christian perspective, connect with Reel Gospel on Facebook and Twitter.

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