During the Cold War, the Soviet Union captures U.S. pilot Francis Gary Powers after shooting down his U-2 spy plane. Sentenced to 10 years in prison, Powers' only hope is New York lawyer James Donovan (Tom Hanks), recruited by a CIA operative (Scott Shepherd) to negotiate his release. Donovan boards a plane to Berlin, hoping ...more
During the Cold War, the Soviet Union captures U.S. pilot Francis Gary Powers after shooting down his U-2 spy plane. Sentenced to 10 years in prison, Powers' only hope is New York lawyer James Donovan (Tom Hanks), recruited by a CIA operative (Scott Shepherd) to negotiate his release. Donovan boards a plane to Berlin, hoping to win the young man's freedom through a prisoner exchange. If all goes well, the Russians would get convicted spy Rudolf Abel, who Donovan defended in court years earlier. less
“Spielberg's brilliance + Hank's subtle performance = A gripping drama”
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When a very talented director like Steven Spielberg teams up with a very talented actor like Tom Hanks the result is bound to be excellent and this movie proves it. Set in the cold war in the late 50s the film is based on actual incidents which took place at that time. A lot of effort has been put up by the production team in recreating America, Germany and Russia of those times. Despite of being slow by today's standards,the film is unfolded in an interesting manner and the realism is clearly evident.The sober mood is well brought out in the grey format used extensively. The film is a major triumph of the director.
The plot relates to the trial of a Russian spy Rudolph Abel in America where the defending lawyer James Donoavan ( Tom Hanks) skillfully saves his client from the gallows and gets him inprisonment of 30 years instead. His reason is that a live Russian spy could be used as an exchange prisoner should there be a requirement in the future. Hie premise comes useful soon when an American Air force spy plane is shot over Russia and the pilot Francis Gary Powers,bails out and is held prisoner in Russia. The CIA then gets into action and employs lawyer James to conduct this exchange of prisoners through the good offices of Germany. Alongside this exchange our smart lawyer also manages to free an American student held captive by the Germans though this was not on CIA's agenda.
Director Steven Spielberg does an excellent job as usual in bringing to life this story with an authenticity which is awesome to say the least.The characters and the backdrop ring very true and this is the USP of the film. Set in winter the cold and the gloomy atmosphere are so well presented against the dark backdrop. One more riveting performance from Tom Hanks who excels in this role as a suitable follow up to his roles in Forrest Gump,Terminal, Castaway, Captain Phillips etc.The supporting actors have done well too.