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“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” – Review (POSITIVE)

January 4, 2012

This is not a James Bond film. This is no “Mission: Impossible”. Don’t expect an “I Spy” style story. “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” is paranoia spy puzzle embedded in a maze of lies, distrust, and intrigue. ‘And will make you want to have sex with the movie’, says my friend Julie.

I recently attended a press screening of the film with my dear friend Julie Klein, the two of us have been anticipating this movie for six months now. After the long wait, it’s safe to say it exceeded our expectations to the highest extent. Julie read the book, I haven’t yet, but I was still engaged to see it, and boy oh boy was it good. ‘Good’ doesn’t even cover it, there’s has to be a superior word to describe our undying love for this film. But, I digress.

The acting from this prestigious cast of British thesp’s help get the ball rolling, it has you’re attention locked onto every last one of them; Tom Hardy, Toby Jones, Colin Firth, John Hurt, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, all were incredible, but it’s Gary Oldman’s lead performance as retired spy, George Smiley that makes the movie so enthralling. His character is so intense and hard-nosed; he knows exactly what he must do, and when to do so.

Alec Guinness portrayed Smiley in the 1979 BBC miniseries, his version of Smiley was indeed appealing for the time it was released, but it was not as captivating, nor haunting as Oldman’s. In the film, Smiley has been pushed out of British intelligence, along with his leader codenamed Control (John Hurt). After Control’s death, thing begin to take new turns. Before Control’s demise he sent out an agent named Jim Prideaux (Mark Strong), to search out information on a mole hiding within the Circus (codename for British Intelligence). This Russian mole has been at the top of the Circus for years. After certain complications during Jim’s mission, Smiley is brought back as an outsider readying a young agent (Benedict Cumberbatch) as his protégé to search out the mole.

The movie takes daring twists and turns, toying with the viewers emotions, leaving us just as paranoid as everyone else is.  Just coming off the 2008 cult hit, “Let the Right One In”, director Tomas Alfredson, makes his mainstream debut, and it’s about damn time. His films have such wondrous feels to them. His use of long pauses help create such spine tingling tension, the cinematography is bleak & de-saturated, which plays to the films advantage, being a Cold War story, it was the darkest period in world history.

As I stated above, Julie & I LOVED this movie. We’re now it’s number one fans. I loved pretty much everything about this film. It’s esthetics in cinematography, it’s haunting-jazzy score, the plot itself, and of course this incredible cast, perhaps the best cast of 2011. These are all great British actors, few I would like to be in the same room with, and pick their minds one by one. John Hurt is legendary, Gary Oldman is epic, Mark Strong & Tom Hardy are total bad asses (“The Guard” & “Warrior” both prove my point from this past year). It’s a fantastic movie!

“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” is one of the very few reasons why I love going to the movies: strong story, strong actors, strong direction, strong…everything! I hope to see more from Mr. Alfredson in the coming years.


Special thanks to Julie Klein for attending this most awesome screening and giving in your hilarious input for this review. When are we going to see “The Artist”???

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