Fifth about The Seventh

The Coldest Game

The Coldest Game: Łukasz Kośmicki’s spy thriller is set in a very ripe time for the genre, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, but doesn’t make full use of it. The film is competent, but the protagonist (and, in this case, also the public) is kept in the dark about the whole picture for most of the story, and when the explanation comes, it’s a bit murky. In any case, the film also fails to be particularly thrilling, when all is said and done. The use of chess as a backdrop is largely irrelevant, and the characters are paper-thin. Bill Pullman is efficient as the neurotic genius, in a somewhat meaty role; Lotte Verbeek isn’t given much to do as his handler; Aleksey Serebryakov makes a strong, sinister villain. It has a good period look, elegantly shot by cinematographer Paweł Edelman, which does wonders to give the film its mood.

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