One of the movies I genuinely liked is “The Peacemaker”, released 1997 starring Georege Clooney and Nicole Kidman. The plot revolves around a missing nuclear warhead in the Soviet Russia, and its tracing by the US security agencies. The plot takes an unexpected turn, linking one of the missing nuclear warheads to a war-torn faction riddled central European republic. The villian, supposedly assumes the role of the leader, hatches a plot to detonate his low yield nuclear bomb in New York. He manage to ship the bomb as a diplomatic parcel, in the guise of attending a UN conference in New York. The miliatary liason played by George Clooney and the nuclear expert played by Nicole Kidman, rightly traces the location of the bomb and manages to prevent the primary nuclear reaction from taking off, thus by limiting the damage of the explosion. Both of them survives and the villain dies.
The movie is fast paced. Barring the cheesy acting of George Clooney’s which doesn’t befit a serious military officers demeanor, the movie is worth watching. Nicole Kidman’s character, though portrayed as a slightly insecure but highly accomplished nuclear scientist with even a hotline directly to the President, is played well. Her timing and dialogue delivery seems to be perfect. The stunts, including the helicopter intercepts, are not overdone and is generally believable. The story takes place in Europe and eastern Europe, which is portrayed throughout the film. There is no unwanted digression to any romantic directions, in an otherwise serious geo-political thriller, except the protagonist asking out the female lead for a dinner in the final scene of the movie. Overall the movie is enjoyable and keeps us glued to the screen.
One of the striking aspects of this motion picture is the portrayal of the villain, played by the Romanian actor Marcel lures. He is introduced as a middle aged, slender, piano teacher, teaching piano to a small girl, in his dilapidated house. The music score being played incidentally is Beethovan’s “Moonlight Sonata” the first movement, which is one of the most soulful music scores ever written. He even shows the girl, how the change in a single note transforms the happy music to a sad one. Too feeling and sensitive to be an antagonist. The piano’s music slowly dissolves into the films background score, invoking a sad, melancholic undertone. The “supposed” villain reminisces of his wife and daughter killed in the war, sponsored by the freedom and democracy loving West. He is not portrayed as a typical violent, psychopath villain but as a slow, inflicted, broken and a humane character, who wants to take revenge for the personal destruction he endured, not due to any of his faults. A neutral viewer easily associates with him and sees a point in his “noble” endeavor to avenge his losses.
The character transcends the movie. We often tend to simply become helpless in the face of tragedy unfolding in front of us, as if directed by someone invisible. We wish to change the course of the story but are mere helpless spectators. It seems that The Almighty has prior decided without our consent, who must fall where and in what part, of the story he enacted. And someone innocuous falls in the wrong part of the story and is eternally left to be doomed.