BRIDGE OF SPIES
Cast: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Scott Shepherd, Amy Ryan, Austin Stowell
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
When you have a director like Spielberg in the director’s chair, you can be sure to be entertained, Adventures, Indiana Jones series to ‘Jaws’, ‘E.T’., ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Jurassic World’, and more recently the historical ‘Lincoln’. Spielberg remains in historical mode on ‘Bridge of Spies’ catering to a more mature audience with a story on the Cold War.
Our first few frames open with Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) a painter in Brooklyn taking a subway ride under the watchful eyes of the police. Later, he is arrested in his apartment, accused of being a spy for the Soviet Union. Insurance lawyer James Donovan (Hanks) is assigned to defend the bespectacled soft spoken Abel who immediately becomes Public Enemy No. 1 as US-USSR tensions soar. Donovan becomes the key to his release as he tries to get a life term for Abel, and not death. Amid threats from the public and even damage to his house, Donovan is unfazed. When he reasons with the judge that Abel could be a valuable asset in the future in a possible prisoner exchange with Russia, the tables turn in Abel’s favor, when halfway through we see a U-2 pilot Gary Powers (Austin Stowell), flying a sophisticated warplane over a prohibited area over Soviet Russia, when suddenly his plane is shot down. He manages to eject to safety but into the hands of the waiting Soviet police. He is charged of spying and put in jail.
Donovan is proved right when Powers is captured, and soon, taking direction from the CIA and other government agencies, Donovan is coordinating the release of the Russian spy in exchange for two Americans being held by the Soviets: the pilot and a college student who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when the Berlin Wall was being constructed. But will the exchange really happen?
Spielberg keeps the period of the ’50s intact, with fancy furniture, old buildings, New York cabs and beautiful vintage cars.
— Verus Ferreira