Set in the 1970s, TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY finds George Smiley (Gary Oldman), a recently retired MI6 agent, doing his best to adjust to a life outside the secret service. However, when a disgraced agent reappears with information concerning a mole at the heart of the Circus, Smiley is drawn back into the murky field of es...more
Set in the 1970s, TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY finds George Smiley (Gary Oldman), a recently retired MI6 agent, doing his best to adjust to a life outside the secret service. However, when a disgraced agent reappears with information concerning a mole at the heart of the Circus, Smiley is drawn back into the murky field of espionage. Tasked with investigating which of his trusted former colleagues has chosen to betray him and their country, Smiley narrows his search to four suspects - all experienced, urbane, successful agents - but past histories, rivalries and friendships make it far from easy to pinpoint the man who is eating away at the heart of the British establishment. less
“TTSS is slow but is extremely well crafted with all the technical elements in place. It doesn’t have thrilling shoot-outs or car chases but still keeps the audiences on the edge of their seats with its exciting storyline and remarkable performances.”
Based on John Le Carres espionage classic, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is yet another attempt to capture the books hefty plot and characters onscreen. Anyone whos read the book would know that a faithful transition was always going to be difficult, however Bridget O Conner & Peter Straughan along with director Tomas Alfredson have crafted one of the most meticulous spy films ever made. This is one hell of movie when seen from all filmmaking aspects and the manner in which it is crafted only shows the great care for detail & respect the makers have shown for the original source.
The plot concerns the efforts of George Smiley (Gary Oldman), newly reinstated into The Circus ala the British Intelligence to track down a possible Russian mole at the top of the hierarchy. Much of the action transpires in 1973 in London but the various flashbacks, double-crosses and city hopping across Europe make this movie earn its spy genre stripes. This however is a very different beast, not to be disturbed with style but good, solid substance instead.
No pointless shoot-outs or car chases required, but thats not to say that the movie doesnt have its share of tension filled sequences that might have you on the edge of your seat as to whats going to happen. Two scenes in particular were very impressively staged; one in Budapest early on and the other involving the theft of a log-book from within the intelligence headquarters.
The part which impressed me most about the movie is the confidence with which is built. Director Tomas Alfredson displays amazing control over every aspect of the film, its such an assured work where nothing seems frivolous that you are in awe of every frame. There is no camera trickery, no bombastic background score, no pyrotechniques to jolt audiences out of their seats, its a simple yet complex piece of filmmaking held together marvelously by some of the best performances of the year. Gary Oldman in particular seems to be wearing layer after layer of attributes and is almost bewitching to watch. In spite of the brilliant acting thespians surrounding him, he stands head and shoulders above anyone else. Be it a simple gesture to get an old friend interested in a drink by the mere shaking of the bottle or a monologue about meeting his Russian counterpart in an interrogation room, Oldman is amazing.
The background score by Alberto Iglesias deserves special mention and Dino Jonasters editing gives the hefty movie an absolutely fluid narrative.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is not a movie for everyones taste, its slow and long, filled with a complex plot and many characters, some of whom dont even get a proper introduction. The movie is for those who of course have read the book and for those who have the patience to enjoy a fine piece of cinema replete with great performances and some simple but highly effective technical aspects. Dont miss this one.