Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

Directed by: Thomas Alfredson
Starring: Gary Oldman, John Hurt, Toby Jones, Colin Firth, Ciaran Hinds, Tom Hardy

Set in 1970s cold-war era,  the thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is about the search for a mole within the British Intelligence Service, MI6.  After a bungled operation in Budapest, Agent George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is forced to retire from his post as second in command of the agency. When a low level British Operative by the name of Ricky Tarr (Hardy) surfaces with information about a woman he met in Istanbul, Smiley is brought out of retirement to help find the mole who is working as a double agent for the Soviets. Everyone in the British Intellegence Agency soon becomes suspect as the characters are introduced one by one.  There are many Iconic British actors in the film; "Tinker" is Percy Alleline (Jones), "Tailor" is Bill Haydon (Firth), "Soldier" is Roy Bland (Hinds.)  "Spy" is the one believed to be the double agent. The agency is run by a man who goes only by the name of "Control" (Hurt.)

While I liked the sets and the acting of the entire cast, the narrative of this film was confusing and very hard to follow. It probably helps to know that the screenplay for this film is based on a 1974 novel series written by French Novelist John Le Carre. The book was made into a 1979 BBC mini-series featuring Alec Guinness. I have not read the book or seen the original BBC series, but I am sure that both go into greater detail in explaining the entire story. The 127 minutes in this film was not enough to give the audience much to go on, and did nothing for me personally as the viewer.

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