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Spies of Warsaw [DVD]
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David Tennant and Janet Montgomery star in this espionage drama as lovers swept up in the intrigue, romance and chaos of pre-WWII Europe. After arriving to take up his post in Warsaw, newly appointed French military attaché, Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier (Tennant), soon finds himself dragged into the duplicitous and shadowy world that thrives in the cafes and back streets of the city. As Hitler's stranglehold on Europe tightens and the continent slides inexorably towards the Second World War, Mercier embarks on a passionate, but complex love affair with Anna (Montgomery), a Parisian lawyer who works for the League of Nations.
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Top Customer Reviews
to the French government the they are testing the ablilty of their tanks to travel the Maginot line through the Black Forest. The film travels between Warsaw, Paris, Czecheslovakia, Germany and the Austrian border. There is the excitement of kidnapping, a love affair, Russian spies and David Tennant. How can it miss? Also starring Janet Montgomery as Anna, The League of Nations lawyer.
I enjoy watching WWII movies. This one is different in that is ends when the "non-aggression" pact begins between Russia and Germany. There is so much suspense, I don't want to ruin it for anyone's enjoyment.
They have also pitched it right in terms of the amateurish nature of the of the forces involved. In 1937 they were all rather amateurish, including the Nazis. The cold professionalism on all sides developed as the war proceeded. Also, and most unusually, the Polish characters are all spot on, in no sense cardboard cut outs to fill the plot. This may be because the director is Coky Giedroy who has a Polish-Lithuanian father, so she has some connection to the style and manner of Poland and eastern Europe (strangely she is not credited on Amazon, and not on the main page at IMDB).
Another reviewer has criticized the production as 'overtly twee'. I did not find it so. Neither was I in any doubt as to the nationality of the participants during the production. It is reasonably subtle and you do have to pay attention, although the film makes competent use of dress tags to identify people for you (black double breasted leather coat with by today's standards very short hair - German, obviously, and so on). It does get the self-conscious ennui of pre-war political life about right, and I suppose they were a bit twee then.
For me, the music can easily break any production, but the music in this is clever and neat (neat as opposed to sloppy, which can ruin a production). It does an excellent job of supporting the narrative, whilst being listenable in its own right.
The film has subtitles available.
On the other hand, viewed in its own right, this filmic adaptation is an enjoyable slice of mainstream TV. David Tennant puts in a good turn in the leading role. His frustration as a French intelligence officer who can't convince his superiors of the threat of war -- of the imminence of a rapid tank attack -- is obvious. The inexorable build-up to war and the looming shadows which sprawl over Poland are well portrayed. perhaps the most compelling character is the Polish intelligence officer who knows that his country is about to be ripped to shreds by two giant super-powers, and can do little to save it, nor to waken the world to the danger which faces all of Europe.
So if you haven't read then book then you'll probably enjoy this DVD.
But if you are a fan of Alan Furst's dense, richly detailed prose -- pass on by. This will almost inevitably disappoint you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not that good but passes the time. Maybe I should get out more.Published 6 months ago by Paul Norton
Just fantastic--what a great 2 hours entertainment.The acting is superb, plot fabulous, and location filming very atmospheric--buy this , enjoy !!Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer