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Spook movies belong to a more innocent time.This may help explain why le Carre's works are so frequently adapted to film.The investigator is Gunther Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the German spook put in charge of chasing down anyone who could plausibly be an "Islamic extremist," regardless what German law has to say about the matter.Bachmann believes Abdullah is using his charity work to move funds to Islamist militants.When his people (very quickly) notice a scruffy young Chechen named Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin) – the water-logged figure who appears at the start of the film – making inquiries around Hamburg, Bachmann intuits that, if he's not a terrorist, he could certainly be useful in getting to Abdullah. Questionable as his work is, Bachmann is hardly the most offensive figure in this tale. Embracing the Attention Deficit Disorde afflicting contemporary film audiences, Bovell and le Carre introduce the story's key figures early but don't rush to disclose their precise place in the plot – though it's clear that Bachmann himself does know, or at least suspect, their roles.
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