After I saw the new film A Call to Spy I regretted having watched it without my friend Jen. She’s a huge history buff and will really enjoy this film. I guess I will just have to see it again with her :).
A Call to Spy tells the true story of 3 women who worked as spies in Churchill’s Secret Army. One of these women is an American named Virginia Hall and she is a woman with a wooden leg who after being denied a job as a diplomat becomes a spy instead. 1 in 3 of these spies lost their lives. It’s harrowing stuff!
Hall is played by Sarah Megan Thomas and she also wrote the film and pushed it into fruition so I give her a ton of credit. The production is handsomely mounted and well acted. It’s an interesting story and for the most part I enjoyed watching it. I kind of wish they had gotten an actress with one leg to play the role but Thomas was very convincing (at least from my POV as an able-bodied viewer.)
On one hand, I can see some calling A Call to Spy a workmanlike or by-the-numbers type of film, and they would be right. There’s nothing particularly creative or unique about it. However, I really enjoyed learning about these 3 women. Their stories are remarkable, and it’s sad that it took me until my 39th year to learn about them. In this case, teaching me about history with a slick and well made production is all they needed to do, and they did it well.
It’s probably too intense for most kids unless they are used to watching a lot of war films (torture, murder and other Nazi behaviors are shown but it is also PG13).
If I am going to fault the film it is a little bit too long at 123 minutes, and we go too long in-between seeing some of the women. It’s supposed to be all 3 women’s stories but particularly the Muslim spy Noor Inayat Khan (Radhika Apte) gets the short end of the stick. I would have liked to have seen more of her and gotten into her head better.
Still, A Call to Spy is an inspirational true story I knew nothing about before seeing it, so I’m glad I watched it. It’s well made and acted and I’d definitely recommend it.
I believe it will be in theaters and then go to streaming so let me know what you think if you see it.
7 out of 10