You know it’s gonna be good when you see Benedict Cumberbatch’s name attached to a new movie, and in The Courier he again gives another incredible performance in the astonishing true story of an ordinary man caught up in one of the most extraordinary events of Cold War espionage in The Courier.
The true story of a British businessman Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch) unwittingly recruited into one of the greatest international conflicts in history. Forming an unlikely partnership with a Soviet officer hoping to prevent a nuclear confrontation, the two men work together to provide the crucial intelligence used to defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis.
When it comes to performance British thespian Benedict Cumberbatch is one man who always commits above and beyond to his performances and he does just that in The Courier. Known as an actor, and now producer, who wants to attach himself to interesting and thought-provoking work, Cumberbatch and director Dominic Cooke, slip into the murky world of cloak and dagger Cold War espionage as they tell the true story of the world’s most unlikely spy, Greville Wynne, a British businessman who found himself in the midst of extraordinary events and who bore witness to the behind-the-scenes machinations of the Cuban Missile Crisis and who effectively helped to save the world from nuclear destruction.
As Wynne, Cumberbatch dives deep into the role and portrays this unassuming businessman whose only talent appears to be drinking far too much and being ordinary. And this makes him the perfect spy for British and American intelligence to smuggle Soviet secrets between Soviet Russia and his native homeland. Cumberbatch transforms with ease into Wynne and there’s an earnestness and ordinariness about him that quickly erases itself as he becomes more and more involved in his ‘work’ with MI6 and the CIA. For Wynne, his new role as a courier is a good dose of excitement and it’s interesting to see him change and become more daring in his actions as his role develops.
But soon the realities of this very deadly game of cat and mouse begin to show themselves and this is exactly where things get interesting for Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Wynne. As an actor, he has tremendous control of his ability to show emotion and perspective and emotions such as fear, paranoia, guilt and aggression begin to show themselves in his portrayal of Wynne. And this is all very interesting to watch unfold on screen. The audience is most definitely kept on edge due to Cumberbatch’s performance and the result is truly chilling as these historical events play out on screen.
Director Dominic Cooke does a tremendous job of keeping audiences on edge with The Courier and he captures the true reality of post-WWII Cold War spy activity. This is not the sexed-up, globe-trotting escapism of a James Bond narrative, but instead a dark world of double-crossing and backstabbing where discovery could happen at any moment, and the consequences are life-ending for both the agent and everyone they love and adore. This true-life narrative is utterly extraordinary to watch unfold and for those who are seeking a thriller that will pull them in and twist them around, well, you’ve come to the right place with The Courier.
The Courier is an incredible piece of true-life spy fiction to behold and it presents a nerve-racking and intense performance from one of the best working thespians today. For those looking for something different, true to life, and uncompromising, The Courier makes for a compelling and intriguing watch.
Image: Roadshow Films