BY CHRISTOPHER STAMM
GUEST movie REVIEWER
The Courier (Now showing in theatres)
Rated PG-13 – For some language and for scenes of torture, both physical and mental.
There are few people who know the name Greville Wynne, and that is an historical injustice that the film The Courier attempts to remedy.
Taking place during the heart of the Cold War, and specifically the Cuban Missile Crisis, The Courier tell the mostly unknown story of two men who risked everything, attempting to keep the United States and the Soviet Union from going to full scale Nuclear War.
Greville Wynne (played fantastically by Benedict Cumberbatch, Doctor Strange) is a man of no consequence when he is recruited by The C.I.A. and M.I. 6 (British Intelligence services) to act as a courier between the Western Intelligence agencies and a Russian asset, Colonel Oleg Penkovsky (Mereb Ninidze, Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse).
Films chronicling the Cold War can, at times, tend to be one-sided or fantastical, but The Courier makes its focus the relationship between two deeply flawed men who are determined not to serve their respective countries, but to serve Mankind as a whole and, through that process, save it from itself. The friendship that forms between these two men is the heart of this film, and the sacrifice one makes for the other can easily be dismissed as a plot point to move the film forward, but it is altogether more impactful because it is true.
Both Greville Wynne’s and Colonel Oleg Penkovsky’s stories have largely been forgotten by all but academics and Cold War History buffs, but their stories are important. The Courier is the story of one soldier’s desire to see peace and an ordinary man’s willingness to step up when his nation needed him, and the friendship that was forged during that period of history.
The Courier earns four full stars out of five possible stars, for its performances, direction, and handling of a true story that more people should know about.