The British thriller film “Rogue Agent” makes for an exciting watch if one is only introduced to Robert Hendy-Freegard and his bizarrely long list of fraudulence through the film. For those already aware, though, it is not a solid experience, as the film really fictionalized many of the true cases. “Rogue Agent” is self-admittedly a fictional account, as it follows Alice Archer, one of Robert Freegard’s many victims, on her path to try and bring the man’s crimes out in public.
‘Rogue Agent’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
In the 1990s, the Irish Republican Army carried out an extensive bombing campaign in England as part of their long-drawn effort for Irish reunification. As a response, the British security service, MI5, that is, started recruiting freelance spies from the common English masses in order to gather intelligence on those suspected of being members of the IRA. It is loosely this that sets the initial premise of the film, as a young man is seen driving down to his agricultural college in Shropshire, in 1993. The news on the radio mentions that a student has recently been arrested from the college for being an active IRA member, as the agricultural institution has become an easy source of fertilizer for the terrorists, who make bombs out of it. The man we see works as a barman in the local pub along with being a student, but very soon, he is revealed to be a member of MI5’s amateur freelance spy program. With political tension growing, he now recruits three of his batchmates and friends, a man and two women, to be part of the same secret service, and trains them for a first big mission for three months. On the day of the mission, which is to search for any incriminating evidence in the house of one of the Irish students, the group of amateur spies somehow manage to pull it off. However, only a few days later, things go terribly wrong as the man suddenly wakes up his three friends one night, saying that their identities have been compromised and that they have to leave the college immediately, and drive them away.
Nine years later, a successful litigation lawyer named Alice Archer returns home from an office celebration when she is approached by a charming man trying to make an acquaintance, but Alice rudely brushes him off. This man is the same man we have earlier seen, and only now is his name revealed—Robert Hansen, and he is now seen working as a luxury car salesman. The next morning, somewhat ashamed of her drunken rudeness, Alice visits the shop he works at and apologizes, and the two get to know each other when Robert offers to drive her to her office. He also asks her out on a date, to which Alice agrees, but the man never shows up, much to her annoyance. When he gets in touch, though, Robert says that he could not arrive because of his father’s serious illness. Mostly charmed by his quick replies and slick attitude, all of which seem very sincere to her, Alice forgives him and continues to see him, also joining him on a short trip to a nearby lighthouse. The two soon start a romantic relationship, but Alice’s elated satisfaction swiftly goes away when she notices a woman named Sophie calling Robert’s cell phone, which he pretends to be a call from his dad. Making use of her professional acquaintances (she hires a private detective of sorts), she checks up on her new lover’s past to find out that nobody named Robert Hansen exists in police records. When Alice confronts the man over this, Robert admits that he has actually been using an alias so far. He reveals that he is a spy in MI5, currently working undercover as a car salesman as part of a very serious investigation, and warns Alice that she would be checked by his employers, who would try to test her loyalty towards him by telling her absurd stories about him. Perhaps impressed by the man’s honesty, and also due to her genuine interest in him by now, Alice agrees to continue their relationship and face the MI5’s test if it ever comes her way.
What Truth Does Alice Gradually Learn About Robert? How Does She React?
Although Alice stays happy with Robert in her life, she tells him how she is not exactly too happy in her professional life and would rather have a business of her own. She is delighted when Robert too discloses his similar interest in life, and he proposes starting a business of leasing luxury cars with Alice, as he feels his time as a spy is coming towards its end. Alice agrees, but is perhaps a bit taken aback when Robert tells her parents of this plan when she introduces them over a formal lunch. Around this time, the detective who Alice had earlier hired also tells her about a court case in the name of a certain Robert Hansen-Freegard, who he suspects to be the same man as Alice’s boyfriend. Robert had been presented to the court on charges of continually stalking and harassing a woman named Julie Harper, and the court had found him innocent. Despite Robert’s claims that his employers will try to test her trust towards her boyfriend, Alice cannot shake off an ill-feeling and meets with Julie Harper’s mother, whose contact she had received from the detective. After meeting her and getting to know shocking facts about how Robert had made Julie borrow twenty thousand pounds from her parents, apparently to get married to him, which never actually took place, she confronts Robert regarding all this when they meet for lunch. Robert, instead, claims that Julie was his first ever girlfriend, and that her mother hardly knows the full truth—Julie had been an alcoholic, and Robert had tried to get her to a rehab for which she needed money, but she did not want to tell her parents about this ill-habit and instead borrowed it saying it was to get married. But the woman apparently decided otherwise right before her time in rehab began, and when Robert tried to approach her, Julie brought false charges of harassment and stalking against her erstwhile boyfriend. After revealing all this, Robert leaves the scene, insulting Alice on the way, and their relationship seems to turn sour from here on.
Just then, Alice gets a concerned call from another man, visiting whom she hears another frightful story. This man and his wife claim that Robert Freegard kidnapped their daughter, Sophie, and coerced her into cutting all ties with them. Sophie is indeed the same young woman who Robert had recruited at his agricultural college earlier in the film, and the parents explain how she had disappeared from the college one day and then only contacted them saying that she was safe and doing some important secretive job along with the other recruits. The girl then also constantly told her parents to hand her over the inheritance money that she was about to receive after their death, and the parents had ultimately given her a hefty sum of three hundred thousand pounds, which they now believe to have been taken over by Robert Freegard. Alice and Robert meet one last time as they spend a night at her house, and both pretend to apologize and make up with each other, while they have completely lost faith in each other by now. The next morning, Alice suddenly receives information about something that she was probably expecting in the smallest corner of her mind—the joint account that she and Robert had opened for their business was now closed, with all the money withdrawn from it; all the money that Alice had put in. She immediately realizes that it is Robert who has stolen her money, possibly by forging her identity in some way, and upon getting home, she finds out that her passport is missing. Understanding what is up, she calls the police, and an officer is assigned to her case, who does not really buy into the identity theft claims at first, and only thinks that it is a matter of disgruntled lovers.
In the meantime, Robert Hansen-Freegard has also been shown in multiple scenes with Sophie at present, in all of which the young woman blindly believes that she is working on covert freelance missions for MI5. At first, Robert keeps her at a hotel for months, where she has to work as a maintenance worker, but Sophie believes that she is there to keep track of the hotel’s operational timings and guest lists, which she does diligently. Robert then tells her how she only has one last mission before being an official MI5 member, and that is to take on the identity of a different woman named Alice Archer. The man had already stolen Alice’s passport by now and had replaced the original photograph on it with that of Sophie, with which he then walked into the bank to clear out the joint business account. As both members would have to be present to close the account, he had made Sophie pretend to be Alice and got his intentions fulfilled. It becomes clear that Robert makes use of Sophie in every way possible, sexually as well, and he then drops her off in a shady neighborhood, saying that she will have to lay low here for some time before she is called up for her recruitment into the security service. While Sophie somehow survives by eating spoiled food and sleeping on the streets, Robert possibly hopes that she will be killed, or rather gives her no thought at all, and instead charms a new woman, an American psychology academic named Jenny Jackson. With Jenny, too, Robert first grows very close, making her fall in love with him deeply, with the utmost faith in him, while he only looks for vulnerable spots to make use of. He tells Jenny that the MI5 could make use of someone like her, with a background in psychology, but the only thing that would stop her recruitment was the student debt she had in her name. For this, he made her call her parents and ask for this money, a total of eighty-thousand dollars, which he would obviously steal and run. By this time, Robert had also learned that Jenny takes a number of prescribed antidepressants, and the man cruelly takes away all her medicine, claiming that she would not need any of it as he would fix her and make her happy. While Jenny now has violent fits as her body reacts horribly to the absence of the medicine, Robert just simply waits around for her parents in the US to send the money.
With the help of Sophie’s parents, Alice gets to know of the male student Robert had taken along to college, Ian Preston, and she goes to meet him after she herself is cheated of her money. Ian tells her about how Robert would always find some pressure point in his victims, which he would use to then exploit them. He reveals that he could escape his cruel company only because Robert himself had let him go, and he also speaks of the third student, a woman named Mae Hansen. Alice now convinces the police officer working on her complaint, Sonny Chandra, to look for someone named Mae Hansen, and when they finally track her down, more shocking revelations are made. Mae tells them that Robert is actually her husband, and they even have two daughters together, but the man mostly stays away from the house on what she calls business trips. The sheer boundlessness of Robert Freegard’s criminal fraud becomes quite clear, and Alice grows determined to bring him down. She gets hold of a pocket-diary with phone numbers in it from Mae’s house and tries calling all of them up. By this time, Sonny takes her along to the American embassy, where they have contacted the police over their concern for the safety of an American citizen. This citizen, Jenny Jackson, had suddenly dropped all contact with her parents in the US and then had called up asking for eighty thousand dollars, which she apparently needed with regards to an employment opportunity that her new boyfriend, Robert Freegard, was helping her with. Alice now directly works with the US embassy’s special agent, Harland, and together, the three manage to get in touch with Sophie from the numbers in the diary, and convince her that they are the MI5 wanting to recruit her. They pick Sophie up after the woman believes their story and tells them her location, and now, with Sophie’s help, they manage to track down a house which Robert had claimed to be his, in which he currently holds Jenny hostage.
‘Rogue Agent’ Ending Explained: Does Alice And Her Associates Save Jenny? What Happened To Robert?
The three, along with Sophie, rushed to the house, suspecting that they would most definitely find Robert Freegard there. At the same time, Jenny’s parents send the money over and call their daughter’s phone to inform her. As Jenny now lies unconscious and extremely sick from the withdrawal effects, Robert receives the call and lies that she is taking a bath. He now prepares to leave, with no concern for the dying Jenny whatsoever, and at the very same time, Alice and the rest arrive in front of the house. Sonny and Harland go over to check the house when Robert steps out onto the driveway and stumbles upon Alice face-to-face. Although this has been the moment Alice has waited for, she is unable to say anything as Robert once again begs for her forgiveness and tries to make her believe that she is the only woman he has ever loved. The man constantly tries to get her to go along with him, but Alice just stands there without any response, as if dazed by his presence. It is when the other two officials arrive that Robert tries to make an escape in his car but is stopped in his tracks as Alice’s car rams into his. There had only been Sophie inside the second car, and it is revealed that it was she who took the steering wheel and ultimately stopped the man who had exploited and cheated her for years. Robert Freegard is arrested while Jenny is rescued in her unconscious state, from which she recovers at the hospital. Sophie, too, returns to her parents, much to their joy, and two years later, Alice is seen on the witness stand during Robert’s court trial. The court indeed finds the man guilty of the charges, and he is sent to prison. While Alice, now a successful businesswoman leasing luxury cars to corporate clients, visits the lighthouse where Robert had once taken her, the convicted man once again cooks up a spy story while in prison. A security guard is seen asking him whether it is true that he is an undercover MI5 agent. Robert only makes a sly face and says that he cannot disclose such confidential information to anyone.
“Rogue Agent” has tried to spin a tale from the perspective of the victims of Robert Freegard, but in the process, has somewhat managed to undermine them in some senses. While the man did have a deceptive charm over the women he cheated, the visual representation of this, particularly through Alice in the scene towards the end, does not present this in any apt manner. The fact that Sophie, who possibly had hints of suspicion in her own mind about Robert’s fraudulent claims, becomes the one to stop him does try to balance the victims’ sensibilities, but it is no saving grace. “Rogue Agent” finally ends with information about the real perpetrator it is based on, Robert Freegard, who was freed in 2009 after initially being given a life imprisonment sentence. Although the two kidnapping charges were overturned after his appeal, more fraud and deceitful activities have come to light that he committed with women since his release from prison.
“Rogue Agent” is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Declan Lawn and Adam Patterson.