Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

As I’ve said before I couldn’t understand how it was possible to make a film like ‘Cowboys and Aliens’ boring and now here is the complete opposite in ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ how can a film about the offices of seventies cold war spies be so gripping? The attention to detail in the costumes and set pieces just add to this world of intrigue and secrets as the suited saviours of the British intelligence go about their daily grind. Beneath the greens and greys, washed out backdrops and sharp suits beats a heart of corrupt proportions, there’s a Russian mole high up in the British ranks, who is it? Who can be trusted? It is a thrilling cat and mouse chase that plays out on the screen like a game of chess (pieces are used in the film to represent all the suspects) with Oldman’s Smiley being the master. Beware this film is slow, on purpose, its cold, calculated, it positively thinks, Oldman shines here not so much because of what he says but how he is, how he holds himself, little gestures and fabulous body language. Along with the other star studied cast there isn’t a weak link among them all equally believable in their respective roles, frequenting smoky rooms with folders of musty papers and whispers. Just like his previous outing ‘Let the Right One in’ Alfredson shows he is a dab hand at cinematography with every shot seeming perfect in its composition and lighting, something that keeps you watching through the slower paced sections. At over two hours in the company of these devious gents it could have been more; it’s been ages since I wanted a film to actually go on longer, so much yet so little happening all at the same time. Different in its approach I can only really compare it to Mad Men with the American ad agency replaced by the British secret service, Control and then Smiley leading the team like an aging Don Draper, whiskeys poured, ideas formulated, plans hatched. . It really is a master class in filmmaking, with flashbacks and twists it never gets confusing, in fact as it goes on it just becomes more and more interesting making you ponder the various avenues and explanations long after the film has finished. From the poster art through to what you see on the screen, there really isn’t anything wrong with this film; it is a bona fide classic.

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