Friday, June 19, 2009

"The Tailor of Panama" (2001) - Movie Review

“The Tailor of Panama” imposes the judgment rigged out of spy film and marginally runs as a spoof only that this being very real. As a disgraced spy with a knack for having affairs, Andy Osnard (duh ! It is Pierce Brosnan) is sent to Panama. Osnard immediately gets the man for the job in knowing the insides of the country he is in, a tailor of the name Harry Pendel (Geoffrey Rush). Pendel is the social connection to the roots of the millionaires and thus the corruptors and sleazy operators in the town. He knows them because many owe him money for the suits he tendered to them with care. He is the English gentleman but with a dirt from the past puts him right on the job. What he weaves for Andy is what makes the film a funny and sad state of affairs.

The film happens post 1999 sovereignty handling of the US to the canal. Brothels and poverty are looming down the town and Pendel has been in this place for a while to survive the dictatorship of General Noiraga. His old time buddy and a veteran front runner for the people who stood up against the regime, Mickie (Brendan Gleeson) has lost it after brutal imprisonment and an atrocity to witness Marta (Leonor Varela), Harry’s receptionist and a close friend’s face was scarred by the regime’s cops. Harry has nothing about the canal because nothing is happening around it. Andy needs something. Harry can build palaces on the fly and convince his customers of a great fit and cloth he has provided, all at the same time, while sleeping eyes open. He has a gift, for saying lies.

Such has earned a peaceful family life with a beautiful working wife Louisa (Jamie Lee Curtis) and two adorable kids, Sarah (Lola Boorman) and Mark (young Daniel Radcliffe). He loves his friend Mickie and Marta. Andy is sloppy at his work. With only a loud speaker missing, Andy goes on revealing his identity to every one he meets. But he is brainy which we do not know. Harry sees money in this and a possible out for his debts along with helping the discouraged Mickie and Marta. He begins to build stories of “Silent Opposition” and buying of the canal. Andy keeps the MI 6 tempting with this sweet deal so that they can get a name and be the favourites of US. Andy is loud mouthed and bubbles with over confidence but he knows his way around.

The film is the spy game played well, one knowing and other does not realizing the actual ripple effect of this. It does not take much to fool any one when the facade is told with the trait as Harry does. Yet there is something underlying in Andy drooling for stories. Brosnan does not need to sweat hard in playing the womanizer but he gives a spy sleazed up enough and knows the system can be brought on to the criss-cross without disturbing it. In between these men develops a relationship which raises suspicion in Louisa. Louisa works in the canal authority department and when Harry says he has nothing else to give for, Andy grins to buy his wife out and earn more.

“The Tailor of Panama” is the possibility of such an international wide event on a pack of lies humbles down as a viewer and a member of the globe. As the sun sets down, we sleep as any other human being does and be fooled as any one else will be. Be it the superior powers and intelligent minds, that fact of life is the ego we never admit to ourselves. The high stake game of clandestine operative and smart capability can be a great equivalent to the people around gullible enough to be fed the bogus facts with courageous fluency for standing it up straight and tall.

Trust and doubt are separated by the flimsy line and it is black and white in the extremities. Both co-exist on that surface and the fact emanates out of that like a clean and sterilized vapour of believability. “The Tailor of Panama” evolves out of those two with a pure lie and makes believe the highest power in the world. But looking at it in a perspective, they were in hunt for an excuse to barge in and reclaim the possession. Fictional story as such, John Boorman directs an entertaining, funny and realistic spy spoof.

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