Impersonal raincoats wore by the very personal Gary Oldman are only part of the story. In addition, there are random scenes which do not add to the film in any remote way and can only be described as 'filler'. Unfortunately, this film is a disaster at every level. Lacon, Bland, Esterhazy and Haydon are semi-dimensional ciphers and Alleline and Control are peevish wasps. It's possible he was supporting it because there was nothing else to be done. On that level it was, as Le Carre himself has said, fairly masterful. But why make every scene grimy? John Le Carre's spy story has a new version.
It was great to watch and the music was well chosen, complementary and not intrusive, never obscuring the dialogue. I think this movie falls into the same category as the story about The Emperor Who Had No Clothes. Once the credits and a dedication to the films screenwriter Bridget O'Connor who passed away last year finish, the viewer is left with an overriding sense of satisfaction. This is all well and good but illustrates the fact highly regarded novels often don't lend themselves to great cinema. In any case, I was hugely disappointed in this film. I liked the way the characters and locations were introduced verbally by another character and then visually in the film, so it was always clear where the action was taking place and who was in the scene. Gary Oldman is superb in a slightly younger and more virile version of Alec Guinness who played George Smiley in a celebrated British miniseries in 1979.
That itself had been a multi-part production but here the action, or should that be inaction, is condensed into a still lengthy two and a half-hour film. I have never appreciated the expressive and nuanced performances of Alec Guiness and the rest of the original cast so much. I read through most of them, trying to sort out categories. There is no continuity or flow. The usually formidable actor Ciaran Hinds must not have had more than 10 words total, and they were of absolutely no consequence.
Concerning an approximate dozen key characters? Called back into service to uncover the identity of a Soviet mole at the height of the Cold War, retired British intelligence operative George Smiley is tasked with unwinding a vastly convoluted web of conspiracy, codenames, double agents, and deceit. For all the taciturnity of his George Smiley, Guinness imbued his Smiley with genuine character, whereas Oldman is reduced to maintaining a stone-faced, unemotional countenance for the entire 2 hours 40 minutes duration of this film. If I had not seen the earlier British television series I honestly doubt if I would have been able to follow the plot of this current movie. Such scenes like this leaven the film with humour but ultimately this is a chamber piece; expertly played by the cream of British acting talent headed by Goldman and Hurt who incidentally could also have been a great George Smiley and told with a languid verve that unravels the complex plotting in a series of tableaux vivants laden with mystery and suspense, but which also acts as important plot points and clues. The acting in this film runs the entire gamut from A to B.
While the true artists of the piece are Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays the young, and somewhat naive intelligent officer assigned to assist Smiley. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; despite of its brilliant execution and stellar performances, is a writers show that helps the feature kick in to their world from the first frame keeping it smart and true to its tone throughout the course of it. Alongside the young Intelligence officer Peter Guillam Benedict Cumberbatch , Smiley has four primary candidates to focus his investigation upon; they are the last remaining members of the Circus, Bill Haydon Colin Firth , Percy Alleline Toby Jones , Roy Bland Ciaran Hinds and Toby Esterhase David Dencik. Key scenes are shortened or inexplicably cut in order to give the illusion of mystery. Through a love affair with the wife of a Russian intelligence officer, a British agent, Ricki Tarr Tom Hardy discovers that there may be a high ranking Soviet mole within the Circus. After the Hurt Locker and The Social Network soundtrack beating Inception.
No car chases in Aston Martins or gadgets but a world of seedy little offices and the grim reality of this genre. What had the greatest impact on myself was the slow deep menace conveyed by all. People just aren't willing to admit that that they didn't know what the heck was going on. Cumberbatch and Hardy have some redeeming moments. His head turns slowly to the left in the direction of the impudent sound and the instantaneous look of sheer effrontery and disdain on Oldman's face will leave you chuckling as his peaceful reverie is rudely disturbed. This film is so good - packed with a thousand tiny pleasures - that it is sad that not everyone loves it.
But it is well made I'll give it that definitely not B grade but I still didn't like it at all I just could not seem to follow the plot and I never did figure it out plus I kept waiting for something to happen and it just never came. Frankly, though, - and despite the wonderful reviews of this film from many people - I don't see how anyone can take this dull, lifeless version seriously. The grimy landscape around the Hotel Islay was nicely done. I remember trying to follow Tinker, Taylor, Soldier Spy when it was televised in days before video recordings were available and, if you missed an episode, you lost the plot! Where were the green fields around Jim Prideaux's prep school? Their performances go above and beyond in their supporting roles, and at times eclipse Gary Oldman's subdued portrayal of a man drawn back into the murky world of corruption, betrayal and treasure. All the complex threads of the story were followed clearly.
Alongside the narrative and its cast, one of the more surprising aspects of the film, is Alfredson, Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema and Editor Dino Jonsater's use of stylistic nuances that further enhance the viewing experience. Oldman is not acting, rather just staying very still and looking pensive. If one likes this sort of genre those versions imprint themselves on the mind if not the heart. Aided by Peter Guillam Bendedict Cumberbatch who is Tarr's handler, Smiley sets about uncovering the mole without the knowledge of Circus leadership, anyone of whom might be the mole, headed by Percy Alleline Toby Jones and his deputies Bill Haydon Colin Firth , Roy Bland Ciarán Hinds and Toby Esterhase David Dencik? Suspense is not built and the plot is unnecessarily slow and plodded along. Different kinds of people liked or hated it for different reasons but it's certainly a film which produced extreme reactions. Synopsis In the early 1970s during the Cold War, the head of British Intelligence, Control, resigns after an operation in Budapest, Hungary goes badly wrong. .