There is simply not much to say about this film, though I suppose it points to a telling and true feature of our world. Our Kind of Traitor (Susanna White) is the new John Le Carré flm and it is as uninteresting as a Harlequin Romance. Like the trade paperbacks, we all know pretty well at the beginning how it’s going to end. The film’s plot is sadly straightforward and predictable, though there are a few moments when erotics and marital discord interrupt (or should I say distract) the spywork.
The image from the film I would have preferred does not seem easily available off the Web. It is the image of a corporate meeting table surrounded by British MPs and European dignitaries, all signing forms to release mafia money into private Swiss accounts. The goal of all of this staid penning is to open a bank that, I assume by trading on the NYSE, will somehow effectively launder that Russian mafia money into clean global currency. I’m not sure I understand how that really works, but it seems salient that the film need only gesture to this nose-bleed height of wealth and corruption to get its message across: today the financialization of capital and the greed of the very wealthy usurp every other human and non-human concern.
Is this message undone by the putative victories over life and money wrought by the British Secret Service? You might be able to argue that it is. All I can say is that I wasn’t convinced. The plot’s lack of closure is probably more palatable than any other ending, but it does give structural and rhetorical weight to corruption and murder, not their prevention.