The Tailor of Panama is based on a novel by John LeCarre.. Many of his books feature characters who are compelled to reinvent themselves. Harry Pendel (Geoffrey Rush), for one, has discarded his shady past and now makes custom suits for the wealthy and powerful in Panama City. Harry is bullied into spying by Andy Osnard (Pierce Brosnan), an amoral British intelligence agent who knows about Harry’s past. Harry is also in debt, and if he could report on what his clients tell him, Osnard could make his financial problems go away.
The problem is, Harry’s clients aren’t inclined let him in on their secrets. Just as he invented himself, Harry invents information for Osnard about a “Silent Opposition,” bent on overthrowing the government. Osnard doesn’t care if the information is true or not, he just wants to impress his superiors. With the British and American governments worried about the security of the Panama Canal, the situation suddenly spins out of control.
R for sex, language
The movie features good performances by Rush and Brosnan. Brosnan is especially entertaining as a British secret agent who’s the antithesis of James Bond. Rush’s character is well-developed and sympathetic even as he sinks into the morass he has created for himself. Along with the acting, the plot and themes make Tailor a smart and entertaining thriller.