Farewell Stars Badly Dressed Bureaucrats Instead of Spies
A homely bit of international Cold War cloak-and-dagger, starring badly dressed bureaucrats instead of chic spies, Farewell is based on a vital early-80s espionage break involving the KGB, DST French intelligence, and the CIA. Heads of all concerned governments appear in the film, but more attention is paid to the domestic lives of the reluctant agents as theyre infected by the habit of deception. Emir Kusturica plays Sergei Gregoriev, a Soviet colonel disillusioned by Andropovs Russia, living off hopes for his sons future and memories of an old appointment in Paris. In exchange for a little conversational French, he begins leaking information about the overseas spy network to Pierre, an engineer working in Moscow (Guillaume Canetlike Kusturica, principally a director). That information trickles down to Ronald Reagan, played by the great Fred Ward, who seems to always be watching The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; its famous Print the legend may refer to Farewell director Christian Carions narrative libertiesGregoriev is a sanitized version of the real Vladimir Vetrovor the obfuscation preached by Willem Dafoes CIA big shot (William Casey?). Valance is one of the key texts in a film that emphasizes the part that culture plays in loyalty, along with 19th-century Romantic Alfred de Vigny and Queen, whom Sergeis teenage son is seen rocking out to on his contraband Walkman, a scene infused with the promised freedom implicit in decadent Western pop.
Get the Film & TV Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.
More Film News
- Bleeding-Out Thriller 'Standoff' Does Good by Letting Laurence Fishburne Play Bad
- The Pest Abroad: An Older, Wiser Michael Moore Invades Europe
- Minds and Hearts Aflame: Bipolar Love Rages Through the Urgent 'Touched With Fire'
- Jia Zhangke Looks Into His Homeland’s Future but Loses Sight of Its People