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Here is my understanding of the end of A Most Wanted Man:

  1. the German agents led by Philip Seymour Hoffman's character Gunther set up a sting operation to film Abdullah breaking the law, with the goal of forcing Abdullah to give them information about who he is working for
  2. the agents succeed in filming Abdullah breaking the law
  3. right when Hoffman's character is about to take Abdullah into custody, agents from another German agency (who are working with the Americans) interrupt and take away Abdullah as well as Issa, whose money was the bait used to get Abdullah to break the law.

Questions...

A. Is my summary accurate?

B. How did the goals of the other Germans/Americans differ from Gunther's goals? Weren't they all trying to stop terrorists? Why would Gunther be interrupted right when his plan seemed to be working?

C. Had the other Germans and the Americans been tricking Gunther the whole time, always intending to take over in the end? Or did his operation take too long so they intervened?

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I think I agree with the above…but it was truly confusing!! –  user12933 Jul 28 at 0:02
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I love how the question has been viewed over 1000 times and still no likes... something about that fits perfectly with this particular movie. –  Shiz Z. Aug 15 at 19:20
    
@ShizZ. 14,000 views and only 1 like. –  CuriousProgrammer Nov 15 at 8:56

5 Answers 5

  1. yes
  2. Gunther taking Muhammad into custody would have been just the beginning. Muhammad was a barracuda and now in the hands of the Germans/Americans he may end up in Guantanamo or somewhere where he will remain silent likely. Now Gunther's network is done. Muhammad funds terrorists, but he is just the tip of the iceberg. As PSH stated in the movie (paraphrasing) "You get rid of him, then you will just be knocking on doors in the dark"
  3. i would say the latter
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They gave him 72 hours to get his man. They kept showing the clock. When 72 hours were up, they intervened. He was about ten minutes too late.

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If what you're saying is true, the movie really did not get through to me, because I have no recollection of time being communicated to the viewer via clocks or anything else. And only vague recollection of the 72 hours being mentioned. And no recollection of explanation why Security Agency A would ruin Agency B's mission because something is 10 minutes late. Argh! –  Shiz Z. Jul 31 at 19:14

I just saw this movie. My take was that Robin Wright's character was tricking PSH's character all along. Notice how she conceded that the American's had really been at fault in Beirut. I think that was just to gain his trust.

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Yes, I think a key part of the story is she lies to and uses him. –  Shiz Z. Nov 7 at 16:38

I think Gunther was in on the plan at the end. The plan that the Americans and germans would take him. My reasoning? It was a cover so his team would not know Gunther gave him up.

Next he only drove a couple of blocks after the double cross got out of his car and started walking, almost as if he was being picked up by someone.

It seemed to me he was in on it.

Big P

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I think the banker gave the details away to the American girl. She simply swooped in and kidnapped him from PSH.

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Why do you think this? –  Crow T Robot Aug 16 at 17:57

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