Louis Salinger(Clive Owen), an Interpol agent, waits for his friend in front of a railway station in Berlin. His friend, Thomas Schumer, is in conversation with an unidentified person sitting inside a car parked in the railway station. Schumer is coaxing this unidentified person to divulge information. The unidentified person agrees to think about it and concludes the conversation. After this, Schumer gets out of the car and walks towards Salinger who stands on the other side of the road. Before he crosses the road, Schumer starts vomiting and dies after collapsing. Seeing this, Salinger rushes across the road and is hit by a passing van. After a while, Salinger wakes up in a hospital. Not caring about the medical aid, he rushes to the morgue to check Schumer’s dead body. At the morgue, he discovers that a lesion on the body of Schumer indicating murder.
In order to talk to the Berlin authorities about the murder and also importance of their investigation, Salinger asks Manhattan District Attorney Eleanor Whitman(Naomi Watts) to come down to Berlin. In Berlin, Salinger and Whitman reveals the nature of their case to the authorities. They have been trying to uncover the shady dealings of International Bank of Business and Credit(IBBC). As part of their investigation, Schumer contacted one of the top officials in IBBC who could be a potential witness and implicate IBBC.
On the next day, Salinger discovers a news article about an IBBC top official, Andre Clement, losing his life in an accident. Seeing the picture in the newspaper, Salinger discovers their potential witness was Andre Clement. In the same news article, he finds a statement by the head of IBBC, Jonas Skarssen(Ulrich Thomsen). Salinger notices a discrepancy in the timings mentioned in the new article which could be used to implicate Skarssen. But he is unsuccessful. Soon, Salinger discovers microphones hidden in his house and also in his boss’s house.
While Salinger is pursuing Skarssen, Whitman contacts Clement’s widow. After a bit of persuasion, Clement’s widow text messages Whitman asking her to contact Umberto Calvini(Luca Barbareschi). Calvini is contesting in the Italian elections for prime minister. Salinger and Whitman meets Calvini during a political rally. Calvini explains the evil design of IBBC and agrees to talk more after the rally. But, Calvini is assassinated in the rally. While unraveling the mystery, Salinger and Whitman comes across The Consultant(Brian O Bryne). They are convinced about IBBC using the Consultant on many occasions. So, if they can get the Consultant, then they can link IBBC to the Consultant and also bring them to the books. the Consultant is handled by Wexler(Armin Mueller-Stahl), who works for IBBC.
This thriller, directed by Tom Tykwer, unravels in different cities - Berlin, Milan, New York and Turkey. The locations are carefully chosen to show various characters as pawns and the lead actors are often dwarfed by the surroundings. The movie relies on long shots thereby enhancing the look of the scene and loneliness of the lead protagonists in their struggle against the villain. The director, Tom Tykwer, and the writer, Eric Warren Singer, has chosen an international bank as the villain thereby bringing in a freshness and also curiosity to the plot.
There are two scenes worth mentioning. The first is the shootout at the Guggenheim museum. Although there is too many bullets flying and blood spurting out, this is an excellent scene. The final scene where Salinger follows the main villain through the bazaars in Turkey and culminating in the rooftop is excellently shot.
Clive Owen looks tired and overworked, inline with the character he plays. He plays the obsessed detective, determined to bring down his longtime enemy, to perfection. The rest of the cast is able.
Picture Courtesy: Yahoo! MoviesTags: Movies,The International,Clive Owen,Naomi Watts,Ulrich Thomsen,Luca Barbareschi,Brian 0 Bryne,Armin Mueller-Stahl,Tom Tykwer,Eric Warren Singer,Thriller