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diary of a spy

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‘Diary of a Spy Review: review: Chemistry runs romantic spy thriller

Lacks the necessary suspense.

Diary of a Spy is a romantic spy thriller based on true – but confidential – events. Anna (Tamara Taylor) is an intelligence officer whose life fell apart after the failure of her last mission. Her latest assignment gives her a chance for redemption. She is tasked to seduce and recruit an asset connected to the Saudi Royal Family. As she gets in deeper, she must decide between accomplishing the mission or moving forward with her own life.

It is not often that spy films depend on the chemistry between its two main characters. Diary of a Spy is filled with personal moments between Anna and Camden (Reece Noi). Early on, narration from Anna establishes she and Camden are alike. The similarities between the two lead to an interesting dynamic. Both are shy and try to shut out the outside world. Watching them try to navigate their growing relationship will draw audiences in. They are broken people trying to fix themselves with the help of each other.

Diary of a Spy adds another layer with Anna’s mission. Stories about double agents becoming too emotionally invested are not new, but director Adam Christian Clark makes sure his film is more personal. This makes it easier for the audience to become invested. Of course, since this is a spy story there are plenty of twists. Diary at a Spy moves at a patient pace which has a dual effect. There is plenty of build to each revelation, but sometimes they feel like they just happen. There is still a level of surprise, but there is a surprising lack of satisfaction.

The pacing in Diary of a Spy is different from similar films. It is a character study that flirts with being a tense thriller. The lack of sense of urgency prevents it from reaching the levels it strives for. (It does not help that there are moments the audience just needs to accept without explanation.) There is some fine character work here, but it does not really work on other levels.

Diary of a Spy will be available on VOD July 14

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