The Debt is a hollywood adaptation of the Israeli movie Ha-Hov, which translates exactly the same. It’s about 3 Mossad agents, who were supposed to capture and subsequently bring to justice a nazi war criminal, a doctor who conducted experimenting on humans in one of the concentration camps. The covert operation didn’t go as planned, and they had to gun him down instead of bringing to trial, or, at least, that’s what they said to everybody. They have been praised as heroes for that doing for the next 30 something years, but then the danger of truth appeared, and so they had to act.
The original film I’ve seen around 5 years ago; it was pretty great in general, although lacking quality in minor things (like supporting cast acting). This version retells the story more or less in the same way, albeit with a few differences. Relationship between the 3 is given much more attention, and prolonged in time; the finale is a little different; and the Berlin operation is shown in more detail, specifically where the attempt to move the prisoner our of the city had failed. All of it sums up to a more thrilling story, which is also more emotional, maybe a little too much; it has that hollywood gloss of technical indefectibility; and the overall level of acting is higher.
Ultimately, though, the necessity to make another movie based on the same exact plot escapes me – moneymaking aside, that is. Also, there some minor, albeit irritating holes in this implementation: for one thing, young versions of the male characters looking deceptively alike; another example would be: if the timing in the final scenes was so tense, where did Rachel find time to write a whole letter for the reporter?
All in all, the story tries to be captivating, and sometimes succeeds in doing so, but there is nothing unique about it.
Released in: 2010
Directed by: John Madden
Written by: Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman, Peter Straughan, // Assaf Bernstein, Ido Rosenblum
Performed by: Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Tom Wilkinson, Ciarán Hinds, Romi Aboulafia, Tomer Ben David, Ohev Ben David, Jonathan Uziel, Elana Kivity Davenport, Eli Zohar, Irén Bordán, Jessica Chastain, Marton Csokas, Jesper Christensen, Brigitte Kren
Entertaining quality: 4 out of 5
Art quality: 5- out of 5
IMDB page: link