Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

R   |    |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) Poster

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet Agent within MI6.


7.1/10
175,959

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  • Colin Firth and Tomas Alfredson at an event for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
  • David Dencik at an event for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
  • Colin Firth in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
  • Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
  • Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

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9 September 2013 | Theo Robertson
6
| The Fact It's Uncinematic Is A Major Problem
John Le Carre is without doubt one of the literary greats of the late 20th Century . A master of complex story telling his novels are often composed of characters standing around discussing complicated geo-political situations and the human condition . This means that his novels are fundamentally uncinematic , a fact reflected that so little of his work has been adapted to the silver screen . With this adaptation of his 1974 novel I doubt if anyone was expecting a James Bond thriller and I know I wasn't but even so you're struck as to how a Le Carre thriller doesn't lend itself to mainstream cinema

You can't fault the film for its production values . It contains a who's who of prestigious big hitting British character actors such as Oldman , Hurt and Firth alongside up and coming peers such as Hardy and Cumberbatch . We also get a host of under rated actors in Strong and Burke and at a casting level none of this can be faulted . The look of the film is fantastic with the brownish dull hues reflecting both Communist Eastern Europe and run down Britain in the early 1970s and a day after seeing the movie my abiding memory of the film is the cinematography

The problem is that - and I'm afraid to admit this - is that I didn't have a clue what was going on most of the time . A British agent is shot and caputured in Hungary and MI6 believes he was set up by a mole . I understood this but then we cut to a character after character discussing who the mole might be , do we have a mole and we don't have a mole and very soon I was very lost . This film topped the film charts in Britain for a grand total of three weeks and one suspects by way of a backhanded compliment many people went to the cinema for a second and third time in order to unravel the plot . This is all well and good but illustrates the fact highly regarded novels often don't lend themselves to great cinema . Let's not forget two of the most memorable movies of the 1970s THE GODFATHER and JAWS were based on novels dismissed as trash

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