Diary of a Spy
by Isaiah Merritt
The big screen has become oh so littered with the glamorous life of the fearless spy and their sonic-speed cars, fancy attire, and femme fatale sidekicks – all gorgeously accessorized by striking visuals, epic shots, and glittering cinematography. As entertaining as this style of filmmaking can be, there has been a lack of any opposing forces in the genre.
Where’s the grit? Where’s the darkness? Where’s the reality? Where’s the BEEF?!!
Diary of A Spy, written and directed by Adam Christian Clark, offers a dark and hardy perspective through the lens of a traumatized woman who has dedicated her life to a cause that may destroy her.
Anna, played with stellar precision by Tamara Taylor, must somehow find a new foundation while she manages a high-stakes assignment that causes her to mix business with pleasure in this slow-burn thriller. When the lines between assignment and romance begin to blur, the plot thickens, ushering in a much-earned climax.
From shot to shot and scene to scene, Clark displays a very clear voice as an auteur. The direction, writing, editing, and cinematography create a cohesive world rich with the rawness of life.
The consistency of performances solidifies the strength of the film and gives the piece heart. Leads Taylor and Reece Noi are in no small part responsible for the success of the film. Especially in the closing scene, Noi proves he is a force to be reckoned with – a quiet storm of awkward realism.
Meanwhile, Paulina Leija offers a scene-stealing performance in a supporting role.
This is a film that takes some time to gain momentum. However, with clear direction, a cohesive vision, and good performances to match, Diary of a Spy is a refreshing take — a spy film soaked in realism.