Do you love thrillers infused with cringing mysteries surrounding deception, manipulation and fraud? Then Netflix Rogue Agent (2022), a British thriller, is the ideal movie!
If there's one crime that is more popular in the world, (I don't know which is the most popular), that everyone knows and is weary of, yet we still fall for it (I'm giving the women folks a side glance here), it is a love-related scam/fraud.
I did not bother to read the synopsis of this movie before watching. I wanted to be surprised. Mainly because I saw a collaboration of Gemma Arterton and James Norton from the film poster, I was sold. I was anticipating a plot filled with mystery, action, guns blazing and espionage stuff due to the title but that was not what I got.
I got something even better —deception, fraud and enslavement, all wrapped in romance. First, this movie is inspired by a true life story which is stated at the beginning of the movie and after watching, my heart goes out to the real life participants in the story.
The movie focuses on a beautiful and successful lawyer, Alice Archer (played by the lovely Gemma Arterton), who is waylaid by a charming car salesman, Robert Hansen Freegard (played by James Norton) on her way home. She turns him down rudely but goes back the following morning to apologize for her behaviour. Then their romance begins. Smart lady she is, she gives her law firm investigator the salesman's name.
In the meantime, Alice begins to fall in love with Robert because he is seductive, charismatic and random. I mean, what lady wouldn't fall for these characteristics? When Alice confronts him about a phone call from 'Sophie', Robert convinces Alice that he's an MI5 agent and persuades her to start a luxury car lease business with him. Robert feels right at home until Alice receives a call from her investigator.
Alice is overcome with shock when the investigator reveals that Robert Hansen does not exist. He is simply a 'ghost'. Who is Robert Hansen? What is he up to? These and more are questions that will roll through your mind as you watch this movie.
I must commend the director and screenwriters of this film. The storytelling is subtle, seductive and sends viewers on a spin. Robert claims to be a spy and his cover is almost believable until reasonable evidence to the contrary begins to appear. I applaud the scene where Robert is brought down finally despite perfectly covering his tracks. All it takes is a heartbroken but strong and intelligent woman. I guess the saying hell hath no fury like a woman scorned may be apt in this regard.
I believe this film is finely crafted to showcase how scammers work, get into the minds of their victims, expertly manipulate or brainwash them to get what they want.
The chemistry of the cast is great, especially between Gemma and James. The scenes are smooth, well plotted and the visuals are not bad.
I think a good number of viewers would wonder why James' victims all fell for his lies and deceit but when faced with reality, it takes a lot of intelligence and smartness to get out of such a manipulative web. For this, I commend James Norton for his incredible acting as the seductive and smart 'MI5 agent'.
I'll rate this movie 4 stars out of 5 and recommend it especially for our young ones (18 and above) so they can be more careful when it comes to the romance aspect.
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