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Movie Review: Breach

In an effort to remember which movies I've seen recently I'm going to jot a few thoughts down after recent movies I watch or books i read. I absolutely loved this movie. It was entertaining, intriguing, suspenseful and surprisingly accurate to what actually took place in 2001. I remembered a ways into the movie reading about this story in the newspaper during the time it was uncovered. Eric O'Neill is hired by the FBI to be the clerk for Robert Hanssen. He is initially told that Robert is a sexual deviant and they don't want him to embarrass the agency. Eric is struck by the character of Robert and grows to trust and respect him. Only later, confused why he is following this man is he informed that Robert has been suspected of spying for the soviets for more than 20 years. They viewed this case as the greatest security breach in United States history. It keeps you on the edge of the seat and has some surprises in the end. A few thoughts jumped out at me after watching this movie. Hiding behind the church-It is not hard to imagine someone becoming increasingly religious in an attempt to divert suspicion surrounding their character and activities. This can be both a guise and also genuine. Sometimes the person wants to hide and no one would ever suspect a daily mass attender to do something awful like this (how many of them doing 'it' does it take for us to lose credibility in people simply for attending religious services, oh wait, we're already there). There are other times when the person, racked with guilt, indulges in religious activity to almost try and make up for their immorality. It is a genuine quest for forgiveness and cleansing. Either way...this isn't the first time that someone has been 'caught' while checking the church box. Hence the words of an eighth century prophet, later quoted by Jesus, "These people honor me with their lips but the hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain..." Living a lie--seems intriguing, risky, and adventurous. But a life spent looking over one's shoulder, habitually covering tracks is no life or liberty even though it started as a sincere pursuit of happiness. Pride--The biggest question in these stories both for the people involved and for those watching from a distance is, "why?" Why did they do it? After reading Hanssen's wikipedia entry a line emerged that surprised me but at the same time made perfect sense, sadly. "Hanssen felt that his skills were underused and sought acceptance and appreciation from his peers which never materialized; therefore, he began to spy for the KGB which recognized his lack of friends and attempted to compensate." A case of feeling left out, hurt feelings, a bruised ego...the stuff of elementary school playgrounds never seems to stay on the playground. Four-square and dodge ball are exchanged for more sophisticated games and for those who feel ripped off or were picked last, the methods of revenge take on new more sophisticated forms. In this case, betraying your country, compromising it's security and billions of dollars in exchange for...finally feeling significant. The drive of a bruised ego.

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