Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

Running Time: 127 mins
Directed By: Tomas Alfredson
Starring: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Hurt, Ciaran Hinds, Kathy Burke
Screenplay: Peter Straughan, Bridget O'Connor
UK Release Date: UK - 16th September

Quick Plot: Set in the height of the cold war aka. 1970 London, semi-retired MI6 agent George Smiley is recalled back to find a double agent working for Soviets.

Review: For critics, Tinker Tailor Solider Spy has been one of the most anticipated films of the year and that's no surprise looking at the absolute extraordinary cast and the fact the novel by John le Carré and the mini series in 1979. It's also no surprise the film is very good which is mostly down to the cast.
Gary Oldman is possibly the main reason Tinker Tailor Solider Spy has been receiving such incredible reviews and a lot of talk. His take on our central character George Smiley is exquisite and I wouldn't be surprised if it wins him an Oscar nomination in the least; he deserves it. The film starts off with a tense and great cold open scene indicating the greater plot and then follows Smiley into his life after going into early retirement. With exception of the soundtrack and sounds of the scenes, it's silent and you're following George Smiley into his life and wondering what is going to happen. After the film quickens it's hard to find times of the film to really sympathise with George but on a whole, with him being our main character, you're on his side throughout. Oldman is undoubtly the standout performance but in my opinion, Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy's roles were closely followed. They have different jobs within their roles but altogether contribute to the fine work of acting talent in the entire film.
Cumberbatch, who is really making his mark in film and TV recently, shines throughout the film. One key scene and a favourite of mine, which I had the luck of seeing a month ago at big screen, was still as tense and remarkable on my first viewing. Being younger than the more experience actors in the film, Cumberbatch's acting comes off on the others making his role more important than it seems. With a few more emotional scenes than you expect, Cumberbatch really did a fantastic job. Hardy never seems to fail to show that he has a wide range of proficiency's within his work. Again a younger character among the rest of the cast, but with still as much importance with them all. My other favourite scenes involved him and his flashbacks in telling the important stories. King Colin Firth, John Hurt and Mark Strong are just as great as all of their other works and their parts do not at all go by unnoticed, but on a personal note, Hardy, Cumberbatch and Oldman stole the show. A worthy mention is Kathy Burke in a key scene, having a few laughs which is natural for her but is must be mentioned as she is wonderful.
From the moment Tinker Tailor Solider Spy begins, you're constantly being thrilled by the beautifully exciting suspense we are put through! With some very clever shots of the bottom of people's bodies and not clear picture of Smiley's wife and another key character's face, as part of the audience you're singling out characters by just the way they're represented. Everything is a mystery until the end, so Tomas Alfredson has very cleverly mastered the cinematography, creating a constant cold feel adding your own suspicion to the the characters individually.
The film is undoubtedly long and for some it can seem tedious. I don't agree that Tinker Tailor Solider Spy is purely a 'critics' film because the cast and story does appeal to many different types of audiences. But it's not for everyone because of the length. If it was a simple hour and a half long thriller more people would like it but it'd be basic. Because of the duration it allows for the film to involve a list of greatly developed characters, a long interesting mystery story and it keeps you thinking. Saying that, the film's greatness is solely down to the accomplished cast. Being great in all of their previous work alone, together they seem to bounce off one another making each other greater unknowingly.

Tinker Tailor Solider Spy is showcasing the fine acting talents Britain have to offer. It's not a thriller glamorising in guns, girls and excessive amount of murders, but you're on edge all the time. Long but worth it.


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy official trailer
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