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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb spy story. Demonstrates how tiny human actions have massive global effects
`Farewell' comes close to being a perfect Cold War spy story. It shares some of the themes of `Lives of Others' The Lives of Others [DVD] but is told with a wry, ironic sense of humour which elevates the atmosphere above the typically bleak and bitter outlook of life behind the collapsing Iron Curtain.
It's a French film set in Moscow, which works far better than you...
Published on 6 July 2011 by Rowena Hoseason

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Its O.K.
The story line and acting is just average. The plot though true it still does not cut it for me. gave it to charity shop to sell.
Published 17 months ago by Vivek K. Sarawgi


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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb spy story. Demonstrates how tiny human actions have massive global effects, 6 July 2011
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Farewell [DVD] (DVD)
`Farewell' comes close to being a perfect Cold War spy story. It shares some of the themes of `Lives of Others' The Lives of Others [DVD] but is told with a wry, ironic sense of humour which elevates the atmosphere above the typically bleak and bitter outlook of life behind the collapsing Iron Curtain.
It's a French film set in Moscow, which works far better than you might think, which examines how the action of a KGB officer might have led to Gorbachev's eventual path of glasnost and perestroika. The action follows an unwilling French engineer who ends up carrying secrets across borders while lying to his family about his actions. The KGB Colonel tells lies to everyone automatically, and watches as his family life unravels in parallel with the collapse of the socialist ideals he still believes in.
The performances are superb; Willem Dafoe plays a small role perfectly as the Teflon-edged CIA chief, but the two males leads - French and Soviet - steal the show completely. The wildly unlikely relationship between a spy and his handler is beautifully portrayed: they can't be honest with their families or lovers, so they only have faith in each other. They throw tradecraft to the wind and take ridiculous risks, almost daring fate to stop them - the KGB Colonel is particularly distraught about what damage his actions must bring yet he knows them to be honourable, and at no time does he betray his ideals... only his government. Even as events spiral out of their control, the relationship between these two men deepens immensely, until the Russian knows (secondhand) the intimate secrets of his friend's marriage.
On top of all that, `Farewell' also examines the nature of the father-son relationship, and manages a nail-chewingly tense finale. The plot machinations are pure genius, more than worth of Le Carre at his peak.
One of the very best foreign language films of the year.
9/10
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "There Can be no Change Without sacrifice", 31 Oct 2011
By 
Tommy Dooley (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Farewell [DVD] (DVD)
This is a French thriller based on the true story that helped bring an end to the `Cold War' and the dawning of `Perestroika'. It stars Emir Kusturika (Serbian film maker and actor responsible for, amongst others `Black Cat White Cat'Black Cat, White Cat [1998] [DVD] ). He plays Colonel Segei Gregoriev, who in 1981 had become totally disenchanted with the whole Soviet system. He was in a privileged position regarding intelligence, and so decides to change the future by giving vital information to the French.

He chose the French as he speaks the language having spent time there and falling in love with all things French, also the CIA are too closely monitored by the KGB to go unnoticed. As his contact he is sent a lowly cog in the big wheel of espionage, one Pierre Froment (Guillaume Canet), who he initially rejects as an amateur, but realising all other contacts are known to Russian intelligence, he carries on and they soon form a bond.

The French then start sharing intel with the Americans and things start to move forward although with a fair amount of mistrust between Mitterrand and Reagan (Fred Ward). Reagan has David Soul as one of his aides and Willem Dafoe also plays a small part as a top CIA bad guy. That said there is not a single poor performance here everyone does a fantastic job. The camera shots are great and the attention to period detail is brilliant too especially all the old Russian cars. Froment is told early on that the KGB have everything bugged including all the bedrooms, and if you are not `getting some' then they will know and send someone after you - the moral is `if you want peace, then screw your wife'.

Director Christian Carion has elicited almost perfect performances and managed to weave a story that is both complicated and simple in its' execution. It is not a short film at 109 minutes, but it just shot by. This is a thriller there is some mild violence and some love interest but by no means is it an actioner. This should have received far more attention and I can not recommend it highly enough, it is nice to see Kusturica in front of the camera again too, but hope he gets behind one soon also. Just a quick mention, there are no extras on this DVD at all, but the film is so darn good you will not feel out of pocket.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent French Thriller, 29 April 2011
By 
Wil Andersen (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Farewell [DVD] (DVD)
Why is it the French are so good at these thrillers? I went to see this at the cinema simply because of one good review in my newspaper. My wife and I were enthralled. This is a really good, gripping film - claimed to be based on fact - I don't know and really don't care - it seemed wholly realistic to me.

Don't want to spoil it for viewers by revealing any of the plot but just to say it deals with that time when the old soviet union was falling apart and Gorbachov was waiting in the wings (remarkable portrayal of him briefly in the film). And the CIA was spying and the Russians were spying - and there is one man who wants to reveal what is going on. Totally gripping, totally convincing.

It is well photographed, the tension is ratcheted up throughout; the acting is without exception great; the story seems to hold together; and you start breathing again as you leave the cinema.

OK a couple of things aren't quite right but they are very minor on the context of the whole. I went with my wife and we had planned to go home and work but we ended up crossing the road to a bar and having a glass of wine (French of course) to unwind and to discuss the film. Go see it or buy the DVD when it comes out - you won't regret it.

And to the first reviewer - well, I watched it and I don't know who David Soul played in the film. Maybe he has got old, bald and fat? (Edited to add: well there was a review that complained he couldn't see David Soul in the film - but the reviewer obviously had the good sense to remove it since at the time of writing the only other review shares my high opinion of the film)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb spy story shows how human actions resonate on a global scale, 7 Jun 2013
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Farewell [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
'Farewell' comes close to being a perfect Cold War spy story.
It shares some of the themes of 'Lives of Others' The Lives of Others [DVD] but is told with a wry, ironic sense of humour which elevates the atmosphere above the typically bleak and bitter outlook of life behind the collapsing Iron Curtain.

It's a French film set in Moscow, which works far better than you might think, which examines how the action of a KGB officer might have led to Gorbachev's eventual path of glasnost and perestroika. The action follows an unwilling French engineer who ends up carrying secrets across borders while lying to his family about his actions. The KGB Colonel tells lies to everyone automatically, and watches as his family life unravels in parallel with the collapse of the socialist ideals he still believes in.
The performances are superb; Willem Dafoe plays a small role perfectly as the Teflon-edged CIA chief, but the two males leads - French and Soviet - steal the show completely. The wildly unlikely relationship between a spy and his handler is beautifully portrayed: they can't be honest with their families or lovers, so they only have faith in each other. They throw tradecraft to the wind and take ridiculous risks, almost daring fate to stop them - the KGB Colonel is particularly distraught about what damage his actions must bring yet he knows them to be honourable, and at no time does he betray his ideals... only his government. Even as events spiral out of their control, the relationship between these two men deepens immensely, until the Russian knows (secondhand) the intimate secrets of his friend's marriage.

On top of all that, 'Farewell' also examines the nature of the father-son relationship, and manages a nail-chewingly tense finale. The plot machinations are pure genius, more than worth of Le Carre at his peak.
One of the very best foreign language films of the year.
9/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb spy story. How tiny actions resonate across the globe, 17 Jan 2013
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
`Farewell' comes close to being a perfect Cold War spy story. It shares some of the themes of `Lives of Others' The Lives of Others [DVD] but is told with a wry, ironic sense of humour which elevates the atmosphere above the typically bleak and bitter outlook of life behind the collapsing Iron Curtain.
It's a French film set in Moscow, which works far better than you might think, which examines how the action of a KGB officer might have led to Gorbachev's eventual path of glasnost and perestroika. The action follows an unwilling French engineer who ends up carrying secrets across borders while lying to his family about his actions. The KGB Colonel tells lies to everyone automatically, and watches as his family life unravels in parallel with the collapse of the socialist ideals he still believes in.
The performances are superb; Willem Dafoe plays a small role perfectly as the Teflon-edged CIA chief, but the two males leads - French and Soviet - steal the show completely. The wildly unlikely relationship between a spy and his handler is beautifully portrayed: they can't be honest with their families or lovers, so they only have faith in each other. They throw tradecraft to the wind and take ridiculous risks, almost daring fate to stop them - the KGB Colonel is particularly distraught about what damage his actions must bring yet he knows them to be honourable, and at no time does he betray his ideals... only his government. Even as events spiral out of their control, the relationship between these two men deepens immensely, until the Russian knows (secondhand) the intimate secrets of his friend's marriage.
On top of all that, `Farewell' also examines the nature of the father-son relationship, and manages a nail-chewingly tense finale. The plot machinations are pure genius, more than worth of Le Carre at his peak.
One of the very best foreign language films of the year.

PLEASE NOTE; other versions are available, and the import is often rather more expensive...
9/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a little bit of history, 5 May 2012
By 
Paul Morris "Unclemo" (Ventnor ,England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Farewell [DVD] (DVD)
This was a great little film and the acting by Guillaume Canet was top knotch.The audacious methodology of passing secrets was unbelieveable.The amount of material passed across was amazing.A good film that showed up the Americans for what they are - duplicious and quite ruthless even with their allies but in their favour they do know how to keep a secret.
A good film and one I will watch a few times more.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The spy that went into the cold, 30 Dec 2011
This review is from: Farewell [DVD] (DVD)
This film grew on me. Not your typical action spy thriller but thrilling in its own way. I'm sure that there's been some degree of dramatic licence but overall the plot was convincing and realistic, helped by the fact that the characters speak in their own language (French, Russian and English) as they would have and subtitles are used. It certainly kept my attention throughout and I found the part at the end when the spy is reconciled with his son quite moving. Great acting. I didn't know anything (or couldn't remember)about this important episode of recent times so there is the plus of learning some contemporary history. If you are looking for an action-packed thriller then it's not for you but if you want a thoughtful, well directed and beautifully acted film with a gripping plot, then it is.
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4.0 out of 5 stars FAREWELL directed by Christian Carion, 13 May 2014
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This review is from: Farewell [DVD] (DVD)
Appalled by the state of the USSR, a KGB officer decides to leak secrets to the French in an effort to shake up the system -- but the only Frenchman in Russia not being watched by the KGB is an inexperienced engineer.

Inspired by the real life case of Vladimir Vetrov (codenamed "Farewell"), this is one of those small, clever films that the French excel in making. It's a pleasure to see a spy film without guns, explosions and shouting.

The 1980s are well recreated, the acting is good - especially the wonderfully craggy Emir Kusturica - and the script is intelligent. The human dilemma facing the Frenchman - spy for his country or protect his family - is very well written.

It is amusing though to consider that we're supposed to admire Vetrov's patriotism in leaking secrets to shake up the USSR and return it to earlier, more ideological days -- like those of Stalin or Lenin in which millions were murdered.

The film is also rather loose with the truth, especially about how (spoilers) Vetrov was unmasked and arrested. There was no CIA plot. Instead, he stabbed his mistress in a drunken argument and then killed a cop who witnessed it.

As ever, the reality of spying is quite tawdry. The movie is very good nonetheless.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A movie to be watched again, 31 Aug 2013
By 
R. Warren "RoseM" (SA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Farewell [DVD] (DVD)
We saw this movie at the theatre a while ago.
I remember enjoying it very much and thinking I need to see it again.
It was quite complex and took a while to sort out who was who and what was going on.
So we shall watch it soon and then send another review if required.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Its O.K., 15 Jun 2013
By 
Vivek K. Sarawgi (USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Farewell [DVD] (DVD)
The story line and acting is just average. The plot though true it still does not cut it for me. gave it to charity shop to sell.
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Farewell [Blu-ray]
Farewell [Blu-ray] by Christian Carion (Blu-ray - 2011)
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