LowComDom Performances Presents
Film Review - Tailor of Panama, The
Sometimes casting really makes a film work. I think this is true in The Tailor of Panama. For years we have seen Pierce Brosnan in the James Bond films as the spy with a heart, always on the right side. In Tailor we see what would happen if James Bond turned to the dark side of The Force.
Brosnan plays Andy Osnard, an MI-5 agent who has recently caused embarrassment to the agency by being involved with a government official's wife. Osnard is sent to Panama in disgrace to redeem himself. But Andy wants to make a big splash. He wants to uncover something big so he can make his handlers happy. He finds Harry, the Tailor of Panama.
Harry (Geoffrey Rush) is a nice fellow. He is hard working, and enjoys knowing everyone in the country who is important, be they in the government, or the opposition. Harry really isn't important, but he wants to feel important. Osnard recruits Harry (who is also a Brit) to provide intelligence for Mother England. Harry, wanting to feel important, starts to make things up.
At this point a film can start becoming a comedy of errors. The Tailor of Panama is a serious film which does not loose sight that people are being hurt because of Harry's lies and Osnard's ambition. It's not a happy ending. People die, Harry does everything he can to stop the wheels he and Osnard set in motion, but is left knowing that it was really all his fault. He's a decent man. This shakes him to the bones.
This is a superbly acted film. Along with Rush and Brosnan, Jamie Lee Curtis is cast as Harry's wife. She does a great job of not over playing the role as she might have in A Fish Called Wanda. This is not an over-the-top movie, and the acting is dead on.
What is terribly wrong is the end. There is a piece I have not told you about, nor will I. But leaving the theatre I thought that if you could have condensed this film, it could have been the first act (or maybe two) for a bigger story. This story really isn't over when the film ends. In essence, we were cheated out of the ending.
Directed by John Boorman
Released in 2001
MPAA Rating: R
Reviewed by Mongo