TAILOR OF PANAMA
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NOTE: This spoiler was sent in by Taller94 "The British spy thriller "Tailor of Panama." Excellent film, although very light and low-key. No car chases, shootouts, or any of that. Just an old-fashioned spy thriller, full of great acting and dry British wit. Here it goes..."
The film begins in England, where British spy Andy Osnard (Pierce Brosnan) is about to be defected to Panama, after an incident involving Osnard and the wife of a well-respected ambassador. So, it's off to Panama for Osnard, whose main objective is to snoop around the Panama Canal, and see how the American-Panamanian ties are at the moment. To keep exclusive tabs, Osnard singles out a British tailor named Harry Pendel (Geoffrey Rush), whose main offices are in Saville Row and Panama.
A well-respected businessman and a damn fine tailor, Harry started the business with his late Uncle Benny (Harold Pinter), who pops up in Harry's head every once in awhile to provide guidence. Harry fits all of Panama's finest businessmen, including el Presidente, with their suits, and most of these men talk business in Harry's shop.
Osnard drops into Pendel's shop one day, and meets Marta, Harry's assistant, a former Panamanian radical with half her face scarred from a military beating years before. Osnard acts as if just a plain customer, and he and Harry hit it off immediately, until Osnard reveals who he really is, and tells Harry that he knows about Harry's checkered past.
You see, how Harry came to be a tailor is an interesting tale. The Saville Row store never existed in the first place and Uncle Benny wasn't even Harry's uncle, just a business associate. Harry actually learned to be a tailor in prison, and if anyone found out, it would ruin him.
Osnard agrees to keep his mouth shut, provided that Harry reveal some juicy information about the political ties in his country. Another reason Osnard chose Harry is because Harry is married to a young American named Louisa (Jamie Lee Curtis), who works for the Canal and has access to blueprints, proposals, etc. So, Harry becomes Osnard's guide around the underbelly of Panama.
To keep everything moving, and to seem like he knows what he actually doesn't know, Harry begins to make up a lot of the information he provides to Osnard. One night, at a bar, Harry introduces Osnard to Mickie Abraxas (Brendan Gleeson), another former radical who is now nothing more than a drunk. To give something for Osnard to sink his teeth into, Harry claims that Mickie is actually head of a movement known as the "Silent Opposition." This begins to interest Osnard.
Soon, however, Osnard goes to the British Embassy and begins to reveal his information to his superiors. He also begins to sleep with Francesca (Catherine McCormack), who also works at the Embassy.
Osnard keeps pressing Harry for info. One night, Harry goes to Osnard's hotel room, where Osnard is watching a Chinese porno. When Osnard asks who else is interested in buying the Canal, Harry glances at the smut on the television, and says it's the Chinese. Osnard takes this in as well. Harry starts to learn that the ball is definitely in his court.
One day, when Harry and Louisa plan to take their two kids to go see some exotic monkeys, Louisa, very curious about Osnard, invites him along. While having a picnic, Harry takes the kids on a boat out to see the monkeys, leaving Osnard and Louisa alone. She tells him that she knows what's going on, and to leave her husband alone, since she knows that Harry knows nothing. Osnard tries to slowly seduce her while they are both wading in the water, but Harry and the kids come back before anything can happen.
Osnard keeps sending information to his boss, as things begin to heat up. The so-called "Silent Opposition" is beginning to move in. The American government is growing hot under the collar, and decide to make a deal. Osnard scams the American government out of $20 million, as severance to keep things cool in the Canal.
Meanwhile, Harry realizes that his lies are beginning to grow very real. He notifies Mickie to leave town, since, in America's eyes, he is public enemy number one, when, in reality, Mickie is just a poor drunk.
Mickie and Marta go to the fireworks festival in a neighboring town. Harry then tries to contact Osnard, and tell him that it was all lies, just silly little lies, but Osnard says that he knows they were lies from day one. He's just in it for the money.
Osnard's boss from England arrives in Panama, with $20 million taken straight from the U.S. budget. After a few quick swindles, Osnard manages to get the briefcases containing the money out of his boss's possession and makes the boss hide.
The American government has decided there is no time to waste, and begin to send forces into Panama. At the same time, Louisa confronts Harry about stealing some of her information about the Canal to give to Osnard. They have a huge fight, with Harry running out the door.
Louisa runs to Osnard, and pleas to let her husband go, but Osnard says there's nothing he can do, and tries to force himself onto Louisa, but she bites his lip and runs away. Harry rushes to the fireworks festival to save Mickie, but he is too late. When he arrives, Mickie has already shot himself.
As Osnard is leaving his hotel with the money, Harry spots him. Osnard tries to lose Harry, but the main road to the airport is blocked. So, Osnard drives through some fields, but his tires get stuck in the mud. Harry drives up, and begs Osnard to stop everything. Osnard pushes Harry aside, and takes Harry's SUV to the airport.
Since the American attack on Panama is imminent, the airports are closed, except for British or American citizens. Osnard's boss tries to get on the plane, but Osnard took his passport, so his boss is left out to dry.
The American forces are soon ordered to abort their mission, and no serious damage is done to Panama. Osnard eventually gets on the plane, and flies away with the money, a cool $20 million.
The next morning, Harry and Louisa apologize to each other about the whole mess. Then, their kids awake, and want breakfast. So, in lieu of all that's happened, and besides the fact that he almost started a war, Harry decides to be a good father and makes his children some pancakes.
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