Movie Reviews

‘Mobius’: A romance masquerading as a spy thriller

By David LeeMovies - 16 January 2014 8:07 AM | Updated 22 January 2014

‘Mobius’: A romance masquerading as a spy thriller

 
Rating: 3 / 5
 
Jean Dujardin, the French actor who was introduced to international audiences in the Oscar-winning silent film ‘The Artist’ (2011), is back on screen again after a recent part as a crooked Swiss Banker in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ (Read review here).
 
In ‘Mobius’, he plays Gregory Lioubov, alias Moise, a Russian intelligence officer stationed in Monaco to observe the activities of a powerful businessman Ivan Rostovsky (Tim Roth), who has links to the very top echelons at Kremlin.
 
Alice (Cecile De France), a financial whiz, is recruited to serve as an undercover operative on the same mission.
 
 
Jean Dujardin (centre) plays a Russian intelligence officer in 'Mobius'
 
Suspicious that Alice may betray them; Gregory breaks the golden rule of the spy game and contacts her to “sniff her out”. A forbidden passion soon erupts between the two, with Alice not knowing the true identity of Moise. Or does she?
 
The movie plods along at a slow and steady pace, offering scenes of beautiful landscapes and exotic locales in Monaco, a perfect place to set a romantic spy movie.
 
SIZZLING LOVE SCENES
 
While there is much lesser action compared to a James Bond movie, the chemistry between the two leads more than make up for it.
 
Even though the film receives an M18 rating in Singapore, the clever editing allows for the sizzling love scenes between the pair to stay intact.
 
Tim Roth is not very convincing as a ruthless Russian mob boss, but his cold and meticulous bodyguard-henchman provides some thrilling moments as he threatens to expose the secret love affair between Alice and Moise.
 
TRIES TOO HARD
 
The film tries a bit too hard at times, updating itself to focus on white-collar crimes. There are the usual cliches when the CIA comes into the picture, with the typical double agents in action, betrayal, assassination attempts, red herrings and more convoluted plots.
 
To add to the occasional confusion, a pivotal cafe scene shows a CIA senior operative trying to explain the concept of the Mobius Strip to Moise, in an awkwardly weak attempt at explaining the title and meaning of the film.
 
Confusing spy games and incongruent plot details aside, ‘Mobius’ is most engaging in the moments when it sets the stage for conflict and in the moving love story of the two strong leads, who have such a natural chemistry that audiences would surely not mind watching them play lovers again. Without all the spy thriller nonsense, perhaps.