Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

Much like the movie Munich, I sat through much of this film knowing that it was quite good, but not something that I would want to re-watch time and time again.  It’s not that the subject matter was too heavy, the pacing ponderous, or anything negative.  It was just that it was something that I personally wouldn’t benefit from viewing multiple times.  I’m not a filmmaker though, just a critic, and I would highly recommend it for someone looking to get into the industry as a near masterpiece of intrigue and the intelligence genre.

I have never read a John le Carré novel at any point in my life, but I imagine I wouldn’t enjoy it as there is just so much going on, so many characters and motivations to keep track of.  I have a hard enough time trying to figure out what the hell is going on during “Game of Thrones”.  Director Tomas Alfredson does a tremendous job with all these plot lines and characters, though with all that juggling, there’s a loss of emotional connectivity.  While George Smiley (Gary Oldman in a rightfully Oscar-nominated performance) digs up all this information, very little of it seemed to resonate with me on an emotional level, other than Ricki Tarr’s (Tom Hardy) feelings for Irina (Svetlana Khodchenkova) because that’s a real human feeling.  Everything else just seemed to be atoms, important yes, but ultimately something that we all overlook.

I highly enjoyed the film, and there are numerous great acting performances to carry the film, but ultimately it feels as though anyone could have performed in most of the roles.  Did Ciarán Hinds even have a line of dialogue in the entire film?  Mark Strong hasn’t been this watchable in a movie since Kick-Ass, and I have to fault the casting directors of other movies for that.  The man is a great actor, underrated for sure.  All in all, a solid and watchable film, but avoid multi-tasking while watching it to maximize your enjoyment of it and to figure out just what the hell is going on.

4.5 / 5

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About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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