The new film “Our Kind of Traitor” is based on the 22nd novel by John Le Carre of the same name. For those of you that enjoy some espionage, intrigue and have nagging suspicions about who is really protecting who, this is definitely one film for you.
The story is set within the context of a relationship that is undergoing some difficulties and attempting to find a way forward from a break in Morocco. Work interrupts leaving a brief vacuum into which Dima, a glittering, persuasive millionaire steps.
It transpires that Dima is of course somewhat of a figurehead in the Russian mafia, however he is under pressure to surrender his power to someone higher up the food chain. The drama is set with a potential trade of family lives for information.
Money, Sex and Power
As ever Le Carre points to the colour of money and the interchangeable values that it solicits. He questions the lack of questioning posed by the powerful when the sums are significantly enticing enough to look the other way, ask no questions, tell no lies. Le Carre has a regular discussion about the dynamic of money, sex and power. Indeed these are probably the basis for almost every thriller within the genre.
Whilst we may not find ourselves in the same position as Perry and Gail (Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris) we do find ourselves regularly facing buying and investing decisions, from the apparently minor issues of everyday grocery shopping to how we vote. At a time when the City and those within the financial services are still largely untrusted, this film asks questions about provenance.
Of course, those within the financial services industry can point to a catalogue of incidents where “looking the other way” was detected by the regulator, resulting in considerable yet insufficient fines to truly deter such practice and culture (despite assurances that lessons have been learned). It would seem that the big fish generally do get away with it, whilst any financial adviser failing to do the required checks would face rather harsher punishment. There is little escaping the sense that the rules do not apply equally, something I imagine that Mr Le Carre would say.
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