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|Index||499 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well, this movie appears to somewhat be divided between the book
readers and non book readers. I haven't read the book so went along for
the ride missing information and enjoyed it.
Some loose ends were not tied up for me in the movie. Did the one spy get the girl. Did they send the other spy back. What happened to some of the spies.
Who the hell was who. The main problem watching this movie is the assumption that the viewer already knows who many of the characters are and unless one watches "very" intently one struggles to follow and really, can't completely anyway.
Very well filmed and very well acted. Gary Oldman is a force to be reckoned with and unfortunately, isn't given more cerebral type roles to show his prowess intellectually and whether through necessity or preference, is cast in mystical and sci fi roles.
Barely know any of the other actors but all were excellent actors.
I can only recommend 1- read the book 2 - view the BBC series with Alec Guinness. Gary Oldman and John Hurt stand out but I was surprised to see that the budget was 20M. Obviously not spent on the script since very few people got to say anything and it looked like a made for TV movie in its set pieces. This is one of the seminal espionage stories so why mess with the details. Ricky Tarr's story was altered and none of the major suspects in the book were given any voice in the film. Characters were not developed properly - what a wasted opportunity. No sense of the betrayal of friendship which is what the book is about and no sense of the humanity, frailty and intelligence which pervades the book. Disappointing all in all.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Basically this is a "Who Dunnit". George Smiley is persuaded to come out of retirement, from the British Secret Service, to flush out a mole, who has infiltrated the service, to a very senior level. It has been over 20 years since I read the series of books with George Smiley in it. I do however remember that there were a whole series of clues as to who was the baddie. No such luck here. How on earth could anyone possibly have worked out who the mole was, except by guessing. There was virtually no background at all on any of the characters. There was no suspense, no excitement no anything. No I nearly forgot, there was a moment when Benedict Cumberpatch is required to illicitly steal some information for Gary Oldman (George Smiley), but that was pretty much it.
I like to invest with the characters I see in films. I like to
experiencing what they're feeling, go with them on a journey, feel like
I'm living their life as it plays out on screen. I like to laugh with
them, cry with them, go psycho with them. Even the Japanese stone-face
films of Beat Takeshi figure out clever ways to show the hidden
emotions, the ones lurking behind the featureless faces.
Sadly, TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY is a film that offers absolutely zero emotional investment on the part of any of its characters. You simply don't care about any of them - in particular the lead, George Smiley, played by Gary Oldman. You know, I remember the days when Oldman used to fire up Hollywood with his blazing performances in the likes of LEON. These days, on the strength of this and his turns in the BATMAN films, he's simply a bore.
The story is s-l-o-w and drawn out unnecessarily to no great end. It's also overly complex, and the script takes great delight in tricking the viewer with one unbelievable plot twist after another. I wasn't expecting another Bourne or Bond, but I was expecting characters I cared about in dramatic situations. I got neither. Tomas Alfredson, of the excellent LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (a film where, you know, I cared about what happened to the people in it) directs a film of an admitted icy beauty, but I can look at the ice formations in my freezer if I want to see that.
Yes, the cast is good. Yes, it's a film that takes a more original approach to the spy genre than most as of late. But is it a good film? Not by a long shot. By the end, I was so uninvolved that I didn't even take note of who the real spy was - by that stage I was long past caring...
Maybe the '60s are trendy again. That might explain the source
Unfortunately simply having old cars and funny clothing is, of itself, not enough.
This movie also has a great cast list, which could have been a good point. We are left with a production without enough script to go around.
The movie is dull and confusing - and I have read the book.
The storyline jumps around in time but does a poor job of signaling when any jump has actually occurred - meaning you sometimes have to watch for several minutes before seeing the state of a cast member as a clue to where we are chronologically. They may well have realised how poor their job had been as the movie ends with the kind of montage more at home in Desperate Housewives.
As has been stated before; forget this movie and see the TV series. Then you will see how Le Carre should be treated.
If you're looking for Bond or Bourne style action, this is not your film. This is a film about the reality of intelligence and espionage, not a flamboyant skit of shooting after shooting. However, if you liked The Good Shepherd or J. Edgar, you will find this film as intriguing as I did. This is an intricately laced film about the number one rule of spying: Trust No One. Gary Oldman is superb in this low-key thriller as George Smiley, the intelligence operator destined to become Control. Violence is at a minimum, but the fascinating web of deceit and revelations is worth a couple of hours of your time. Rated R for language and some violence, and subject matter, not necessarily a collectible.
Jazz music comes from musicians "playing around the notes". In other
words, instead of playing the root notes on the downbeat, they
deliberately omit the obvious melody, and fill in the spaces with
embellishments that suggest the primary structure. For the educated
ear, the way the musician artfully colours between the lines is the
source of entertainment. As a moviegoer, I don't mind being presented a
puzzle, where you have to think a bit at how the movie is playing
around the more conventional spy thriller notes. Strangely, this well
heeled story may have become more of a jigsaw puzzle with many pieces
missing purely because of the running time. Reportedly the running time
was much longer in the original cut, so these holes in the story may
have been cut out of necessity.
I am writing this review after watching it a second time, and can say that all the motives and activities are accounted for. I have to commend screenwriters as well as the editor for patching together a complex but intricately told tale. Part of the fun is being aware of the ride you are being taken on. For instance, George Smiley, our main character, is seen a great deal of time without every actually speaking. And when he does speak, it is very calculated, since he doesn't know quite who to trust. There is a subtext about secret sexual relationships, where Smiley's wife appears in a couple scenes but you never see her face. The main group of suspects are a who's who of familiar faces from some of the best films in the last decade. The supporting cast delivers poignant exposition and avoids stereotype dialogue. I could easily see how someone may not like the longer gaps in explanation as to why a certain character appears to be dead and suddenly is alive in an unexpected way. But a similar type of mystery surrounds each of the main characters, and is eventually played out as part of the larger payoff, who is the traitor in the British intelligence service? The greatest appreciation one can have is the ability of the filmmakers to tell a story this complex using visual cues as much as possible. Key moments in the story are told with spare conversation, allowing the audience to mentally piece together what is implied. The stone faced hero played by Gary Oldman, is akin the quiet hero, such as the tight lipped vigilante gunslinger, who carefully carries out justice.
This might be a very good spy book but the way of narrating that the director chose is very hard to follow. There are lots of names (also nicknames) and events can easily confuse minds because we are lack of character descriptions. When reading the book, I guess all the characters were picturized well so when a dialog comes through about who is doing what than we could understand the situation easily. But in the film, there are just events and dialogs which might be the easiest way to make the scenario for the director but the hardest way to follow for us. Acting and the details of 70s are quite good especially the shots in İstanbul.
The reason for my going to this movie was simple Gary Oldman. However, after I was out of the movie, I found out that I was cheated with Gary Oldman's name and his picture on the movie's poster. I will not give any spoilers about the movie and its story, however, those who remember Gary Oldman from movies like "Leon" and "State of Grace" are not recommended to see this movie. It is not a bad story, but could have been developed much better. Still, I am giving all the credits to Gary Oldman and his acting in the movie. I am thinking to myself, if there was no Gary Oldman, I would have badly regretted going there! Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is not a bad movie, but it is not a good one, either. It felt too long for me. The story moves very slow, and there is little action going on. If you are planning to go and see this movie, you should leave your expectations aside about Gary Oldman's presence there.
Saw this one in cinema eventually several days ago, as usual, I am
totally ignorant to the eponymous worldwide bestseller novel or the BBC
TV mini-series in 1979 starring Sir Alec Guinness. And my instant
response when the ending-credits rolls is that it is too intricate for
a feature film and with sustained jumping back and forth of the actual
narrative, a first viewing could barely serve as an introduction.
The grainy texture of the film is retro and unassuming, like its protagonist George Smiley, and a lengthy running time with tepid fixation to the minimal details are tiring, foolhardily devoid of any suspenseful theatrical stunt (the scene of file-theft in the Circus library could merely be qualified for the aim); sundry gory scenes of death are infelicitously irrelevant with the film's avowed self-effacing tone, anyway, the film is too hard-bitten for my digestion system in a way grating my patience and diminishing my interest.
Nevertheless the film has bountiful merits to demonstrate that it has its offbeat appeal, particularly towards its cold-war spy genre buffs, a pervasive austere gray-blue palette could not be more emblematic for the back story and director Tomas Alfredson's (whose debut LET THE RIGHT ONE IN 2008 is an unsurmountable milestone for any budding directors) knack for manufacturing a stylized cine-atmosphere is unswerving, a love-it-or-hate-it aftermath is predestined.
The acting is practical but underwhelmed, Gary Oldman is acclaimed merely because it is against his stereotyped flare-up spitfire, and due to an appalling shame he had never been nominated before this film, at any rate it is not a new fuss, just an unspoken consensus all the players comply. So I do sincerely wish this will not be Mr. Oldman's career peak as we all know he could do way better! Among a male-studded supporting cast, Mark Strong is remarkably excellent against that almost everyone character is in somewhat underdeveloped ellipsis (save for Smiley), also a thumb-up for Kathy Burke, who magically generates the one and only chuckling.
I admire the effort, but the platitude is that not all masterpieces could be made into films, so a mixed feeling of unsatisfied still hovers.
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