Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Alfredson, 2011)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Tomas Alfredson, 2011)

Atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere. This couldn’t have been a more pleasing experience in tone and pace. Oldman investigates a potential mole, and it’s done with such quiet contemplative finesse, I almost forgot this was a ‘spy’ movie. Flashbacks begin and end in such seamless fashion that if it weren’t for the multiple character perspectives, I would have assumed it was all Oldman’s memories; they have the poetic essence of a memory. There’s also a sense of emptiness and isolation in the present timeline that both compares and contrasts to the sense of emptiness and loose companionship in the flashbacks. It’s a perfect juxtaposition.

 

But the story… Too many separate characters doing separate things result in a need to bring it all together which ends up being a mess of an exposition. There’s some simplicity and a few amazing scenes at the conclusion, but it’s overwhelming how much is crammed in to reach that point. Much of what makes the first half great is abandoned in the second half and we end up with much more of a typical spy movie than I ever would have expected. How they made a confusing jumble of a mess from this is almost baffling.  7.5/10

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2 Responses to “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Alfredson, 2011)”

  1. I couldn’t agree more — it was gorgeous but all the side characters doing lots of little things made it an unfortunate jumble. Alas, a missed opportunity. Have you seen the original BBC miniseries? I wonder if it’s any good.

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