December 19th, 2011

I ventured out on Saturday to the Varsity Theatre as it was the ONLY theatre in town that was showing Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.   This is the most recent incarnation of the John Le Carre novel set in the Cold War, with the US, USSR and Britain playing espionnage games between themselves.   Previously it has been a tv series and other movies as well (or so I think).  None have been previosuly seen by me.  I have not read the book.   This film is cast with a Who’s Who of British film.   Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, John Hurt, Mark Strong and others that are all familiar.  It is well acted.  It is believable and they do a very good job of creating suspense.  Basically there is an accusation that there is a mole very high up in the British Intelligence community.  The question is who could it possible be.  The plot is told starting at present time late 1970s and then through a series of flashbacks.   You are told other ancillary stories as you move through it.  Pay attention.  It gets complicated, as there are plenty of characters in play.   And it can be slow.  There are shots with little dialogue to show the passing of time.  I was squirming in my seat a couple times and wondering if the average movie goer can pay attention and follow.  I suspect that they can’t and won’t.   My crowd was older and likely many would have read the book.   I think that would help as you would know the characters better.  As a film, it does not need to be seen on the big screen.  There are no big chase scenes and that fits.  This isn’t Mission Impossible.    They may make Sherlock Holmes an action hero, they did not do the same here.    So I was overall a bit disappointed but I had high expectations.  I am glad that I saw it.   I want to read the book, and that says something too.

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