Pierce Brosnan plays the former British Prime minster Adam Lang. Brosnan is of course best known as his run as James Bond, but here he goes a bit against type as the somewhat shady politician. Brosnan's character is one we hear of several times before we finally meet him in the film. He has a build up and Brosnan does not disappoint when we do meet him. He takes a rather interesting approach in his performance which is he makes Lang sort of a mystery, but he plays him as a man who does not at all wanted to be taken for one. It is an effective portrayal in his few scenes he get across the several different faces of the career politician.
Brosnan has his scenes on the television where he seems the most confidant although as well the least natural. Brosnan creates the right posture though the way he so firmly speaks, and the way he seems to be happy and confidant even when there is no reason to be. Brosnan knows just how to be basically the fake man, but at the same time makes Lang seem like the leader he should have been considered at one time. He does very well here and he does well in showing the difference between the public persona and the real man that we meet when he speaks to the ghost writer, although even then there are really two sides to the man.
On one hand Brosnan keeps Lang as a base man of former power and still one of wealth and importance. Brosnan creates the right type of casual pompousness in the man in the way he deals with his entire staff and particularly the ghost writer. Brosnan is good actually because he never makes Lang to seem overly malicious in his behavior as it Brosnan allows us to see this as the sort of behavior that developed from being a person of such power. There is more than the fairly shallow rich powerful man behavior to this man, and Brosnan does create the right depth in his performance to suggest why Lang is in the trouble he currently has.
When pressed about his troubles Brosnan shows Lang is an intensely defensive and angry man over his fall from glory. He is very good in portraying just the sheer bitterness the man feels, but as well alludes early on that maybe he is hiding a darker secret. Brosnan is great though in his very last scene though as he seems in a way breaks the mystery with his performance even if in terms of the film's development we do not yet know that he has. Brosnan creates strong passion in Lang for what has done and there is not an undercurrent suggesting otherwise in this moment perhaps suggesting that Lang is not hiding anything in terms of his own actions.
This is a very solid performance by Pierce Brosnan particularly by the way his performance allows the secret in the film to exist while completely supporting the eventual revelation in regards to his character. He handles every aspect of his character very well especially through his portrayal of each shade of the man in terms of both the public and private man. Brosnan all in all actually does not have too many scenes to his name or even that much total screen time. Brosnan within the time that he does inhabit though gives the proper life to his character to support the character who is in always at the center of the film even though is often not on screen.