A Call To Spy Movie Review: Radhika Apte Shines In This World War II British Spy Thriller

Radhika Apte shines in this British Spy Thriller named A Call To Spy. A film with World War II backdrop is worthy of your time. Read our detailed review

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A Call To Spy Movie Review: Radhika Apte Shines In This World War II British Spy Thriller
Move over, Frieda Pinto, Move over, Priyanka Chopra. Radhika Apte has just done what could comfortably be considered the best female character in a foreign –language film till date. In this brave and inspirational story of feminine courage, released on Amazon Prime, Apte is cast as the celebrated half-Indian World War 2 spy Noor Inayat Khan who gets caught in France while spying for Winston Churchill and is eventually shot point-blank. This isn’t a  spoiler. It’s destiny. It's A Call To Spy.  

I am happy to inform that Radhika is first-rate in a  part that needs no actorial support to exude a sense of nobility. She simply takes over the character and burnishes it with a  blend of vulnerability and valour. Yes, the two other leading ladies, Sara Megan Thomas and Stana Katic have more footage, but that doesn’t make Ms Apte any less apt. All three ladies are excellent in conveying the danger that they face with a courage that would make even the most macho men blush. Producer  Sarah Megan Thomas who plays the main protagonist, Virginia Hall, spent years researching on Churchill’s female spies who went into Nazi territory unprotected. 

Stana Katic is firs-rate as a spy recruiter with subtle gender issues stalking her at her workplace. I must admit the men are portrayed as either shadowy or sleazy or both. I didn’t come away with one memorable male character. All the spies and Nazis were either spineless or sadists. One of them exclaims, “I’d love to throttle the limping bitch(Virginia Hall) with my bare hands." The sporadic look of compassionate male attention that came our heroines’ ways was squandered away to the larger cause. This is no country for romance or tenderness.

As Virginia Hall, Sarah  Megan Thomas rightfully and rightly cast herself in the most plum part. With only one leg and a  double dose of doughtiness, Ms Thomas’ Virginia Hall becomes a memorable portrait of fearless femininity unencroached upon by any creative apprehensions. Director  Lydia  Dean  Pilcher’s vision is unfettered by the fear of losing the audience. The narrative doesn’t indulge in crowd-pleasing tactics, though some of the more cynical viewers may find the upbeat ending to Virginia Hall’s escape adventure a tad unrealistic. But don’t forget: the entire situation recreated in the film is supremely surreal. Women with no experience in espionage thrown into the mouth of  Nazi crocodiles and left to their own devices.

Noor’s mother’s scream from her house at the end will follow you out of this ruminative film filled with moments of  Pure Cinema. Throughout the 2-hour  tension-filled storytelling, I kept wondering if  Noor will escape her fatal fate. That perhaps destiny can be re-written in the cinema.  Sadly or gladly this is not at kind of a film.

I give A Call To Spy three stars! 

Image Source: Instagram/radhikaofficial
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