REVIEW: THE SPY ( Mini Series on NETFLIX; six episodes of approximate duration of one hour each)
Sacha Baron Cohen is a well regarded TV actor of Israeli origin, best known for his comic roles. I had seen one comedy movie of his called THE DICTATOR, which despite causing bouts of laughter, would be worthy of being called puerile. Gideon Raff is an Israeli film maker and director, best known as the brain behind the enormously successful TV series HOMELAND.
My closest peek into the life of a real world spy came when I saw the brilliantly made and enacted RAAZI. So when, I started getting prompts about the new Netflix series THE SPY, authored and created by Gideon Raff, I decided to watch it over a few days.
I will be most surprised, if this series does not walk away with a couple of awards. Based on the real life story of a Mossad spy, Eli Cohen, THE SPY manages to hold the viewer’s attention as Sacha Baron( playing his first serious role) gets under the skin of someone, who is initially rejected by the Mossad and his transformation to becoming one of Mossad’s successful agents. Gideon Raff recreates the family pressures of a spy’s life against the background of the Israeli Syrian conflict in the early sixties. It takes sometime to build up the tempo, but after that, it holds you in edge-of-the-seat posture for the better part. All the characters on the Israeli side and the Syrian side look utterly real: the Syrian intelligence head, who is distrustful of “the spy” from the very beginning sends the shivers whenever he comes on the screen. Sacha’s portrayal is sincere to the core and we begin to feel for him even as we know that he is beginning to be reckless. Is that the way, a person who is branded as a failure in the beginning, reacts? Either you give up ( like the son in CHICHORE) or you fight back recklessly…
Eli Cohen’s body was left hanging in a public place for a few days; his coffin hasn’t been returned. Just last year, his watch was returned to his wife. It was found in an auction house.
Not to be missed!
September 12th, 2019