Corbijn debuts post-9/11 thriller 'A Most Wanted Man' at Sundance

Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:10pm EST
 
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

PARK CITY, Utah (Reuters) - Director Anton Corbijn explores the real-life fears and paranoia in the post-9/11 world in the intense new espionage thriller "A Most Wanted Man."

The film, based on John le Carre's best-selling thriller novel of the same name, is a tale of spies and terrorism, set in Hamburg, Germany, a city that has been on high alert after the 9/11 hijackers planned their attack on America from there.

Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman plays German spy Gunther Bachmann, a man driven by the shame of previous failure into an obsessive pursuit of capturing terrorists by any means necessary.

Hoffman, 46, told Reuters at the film's premiere at the Sundance Film Festival that he connected to a lot of Gunther's personality, and believed the character would resonate with most people.

"I think it'd be hard for anyone not to connect with the loneliness. He's pretty lonely, driven, obsessive guy, unforgiving of himself in a lot of ways. A lot of traits that a lot of people carry in one grade or another," Hoffman said.

Hoffman, who won a best actor Oscar in 2006 for "Capote," said he wanted to do justice to the character that le Carre had created, and "illuminate it in a way that hopefully is surprising."

The film follows the mysterious arrival in Hamburg of a destitute Chechen-Russian immigrant named Issa (played by Grigoriy Dobrygin), who lays claim to a large fortune in a bank account with the help of an attractive human rights lawyer, played by Rachel McAdams. Issa, a deeply religious Muslim man, wants to donate the money to charities supporting the Islamic faith.

Gunther and his team, who are investigating a company they suspect have ties to terrorist groups, are alerted to Issa's arrival and donation plans, and embark on a cat-and-mouse chase to gain evidence of terrorist connections.   Continued...

 
Director Anton Corbijn attends the premiere of the film "A Most Wanted Man" at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, January 19, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart