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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Genre Mystery
 
Review:

If a nice cup of tea, a dry butter scone and a fascinating game of chess against one of those electronic Kasparov chessboards sounds like a great night in... Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is your movie. Slow-moving, dull, dreary and stoney-faced - this Cold War club for stiff cigar room suits makes the dense two hour plod as inviting as having root canal on a rocking chair... and the worst part is, it's intentional.

An adaptation of John le Carré's espionage novel, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, enters the Cold War era as veteran spy George Smiley (Oldman) is called upon to extract a Soviet agent mole from the echelons of MI6.

Swedish director, Tomas Alfredson, who directed the critically-acclaimed Let the Right One In about a bullied boy and a vampire girl, gives Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy its austere. This is a beautifully filmed adaptation of  le Carré's novel, which was first adapted into a 5-hour TV mini-series starring Alec Guiness in 1979.

The billowing cigarette smoke, dimly lit London streets and oppressive Cold War atmosphere is freeze frame artistry and captures the Zeitgeist of British intelligence in the '70s. The detail in each shot make the visuals intricate, almost mesmerising, giving the actors an authentic environment to lose themselves in their characters.

The ensemble is first-class featuring some of the finest, most underrated British actors working today and led by Gary Oldman, who was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Smiley. Oldman is almost unrecognisable, blending his camouflage so effortlessly that you’d swear he was really part of the MI6 furniture at some stage.

Colin Firth, Ciaran Hinds, Mark Strong, Toby Jones, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy and Kathy Burke all lend their support to Oldman's pensive, calculated character in this mystery thriller. The accents, diction and mannerisms are pitch perfect making this fly-on-the-wall drama ripple with authenticity.

The writing is as dense as that of The Social Network, compressing a novel, which was originally condensed into a five hour mini-series into just over two hours of political espionage. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy requires deep concentration with each painstakingly realistic scene ticking over like the machinations of a thinking man's chess game.

However, and this is a big however... what is the point in buying a sleek, beautifully-crafted vintage Aston Martin if you can't drive it? As finely manicured as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is... it's a joyless, sluggish, alienating and inaccessible fortress to your average movie goer, who may appreciate the visual artistry and level of performance, but struggle to find the inherent entertainment value in this deliberately dull exercise in British espionage etiquette set against the Cold War in the '70s.

The bottom line: Boring

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