Beirut - Movie Review

Set in 1972, Beirut opens with a lavish cocktail party among dignitaries hosted by the handsome, hot-shot, American Diplomat, Mason Skiles (Jon Hamm, Mad Men) and his wife, Nadia (Leila Bekhti). The party is disrupted when Mason’s best friend, CIA Agent Cal Riley (Mark Pellegrino) arrives with some shocking information about Karim, the 13-year-old Lebanese orphan (Yoau Saian Rosenberg) who Mason and Nadia plan to adopt. Moments later, a violent terrorist attack leaves the Skiles family with a devastating tragedy.

10 years later, Mason, now an alcoholic, working as a mediator for labour disputes in Boston, is contacted by the US intelligence to help rescue a kidnapped CIA agent in Beirut.
Mason arrives in Beirut, once known as the “Paris of the Middle East” to find that the formerly picturesque city has become a war zone, and is in complete destruction state US Embassy officials inform him that his mission is to negotiate a hostage transfer between the captured CIA agent and a notorious terrorist leader, who is believed to be imprisoned by the Israeli police. Also, the kidnappers have specifically requested Mason to be the official go-between.

Mason finds himself caught in the crossfire of a bloody civil war, as he begins to unravel the competing agendas between Israeli military leaders, American politicians, Palestinian Liberation Front Minister and numerous other corrupt bureaucrats. His only ally appears to be the Embassy’s cultural attaché, Sandy Crowder (Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl), who is just as committed as he is to rescue the CIA hostage.

Beirut is an American espionage thriller, directed by Brad Anderson (The Machinist) and written by Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Identity, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), who built his fictional script around facts on the ground, including the real-life kidnapping of CIA Station Chief William Buckley in 1984.      - Sabrina Joshi, Hollywood Correspondent