‘The Courier’

Greville, we are only two people. But this is how things change.

A truth-is-stranger-than-fiction espionage thriller, an ordinary English businessman, Greville Wynn (Benedict Cumberbatch – The Power of the Dog, The Imitation Game), finds himself involved in Cold War politics in the lead up to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

With nuclear secrets couriered out of Moscow under the auspices of trade delegations, Wynn and Soviet official Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze – Bumazhnyy soldat, Delo) build trust and a close friendship, only too aware of the risks they are running. Time away from home comes at a price to family, with Sheila Wynn (Jesse Buckley – The Lost Daughter, Judy) convinced her husband is involved in an affair.

Considering the stakes, The Courier is gloriously mundane with only the occasional glimpse of MI6 or the CIA ‘in action’ as American handler Emily Donovan (Rachel Brosnahan – Patriots Day, TV’s The Marvellous Mrs Maisel) finds her cover blown. Director Dominic Cooke (On Chesil Beach, TV’s The Hollow Crown) creates, within a tonally muted palette, a character-focussed tension of a thriller.

Rating: 69%


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