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4.2 out of 5 stars
22
Farewell [Blu-ray]
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 31 October 2011
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.
12 people found this helpful
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on 28 June 2017
A superb spy story and based incredibly on fact - difficult to believe that it's not fictional, but it does feature, for example, actors playing Ronald Reagan and Francois Mitterand. Basically a French film but because of its international storyline - Russian / English etc. it's uses the different languages.
A highly-placed Russian secret service operative starts passing on vital information to a French contact, who is basically an amateur in the spy game, but there is a surprising twist at the end.
One of those films which require your total concentration, otherwise you'll miss some key element of the story.
Utterly convincing performances from the two leads - Emir Kusturica and Guillaume Canat. Willem Dafoe is also one of the stars, but his role is fairly small, but becomes crucial at the end
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on 5 May 2012
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.
One person found this helpful
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on 27 September 2015
Good story, and one of those stories that you haven't heard of but is just as important. It's often the ordinary people that live the most fascinating lives.
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on 22 March 2013
Inside the Russian intelligence world and its spies, you wonder why a French one could mess with them ... and from their viewpoint, the Americans, the French intelligence world. different perspective. interesting, you feel attached.
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on 31 August 2013
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.
One person found this helpful
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on 15 June 2013
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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on 27 August 2014
good
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on 17 July 2015
OK
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on 23 May 2012
It seems odd that France and Russia would spy on one another, I thought it was something only we Brits and the Americans do. Nevertheless this makes for an absorbing and entertaining couple of hours with neat twist at the end. The lesson is:- everyone in the spying game is expendable (but don't let that put you off watching).
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