“Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy” is one of the great twisty spy thrillers, about thinking and betrayal rather than booms and bangs. I was worried a new version would pale in comparison to the British mini-series, or die on the vine of period-piece dustiness. Not so, says this first review, from THR. I can’t wait to see it.
Huge on period atmosphere and as murkily plotted as its source material, this big-scale European adaptation of John le Carré’s 1974 Cold War novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy shows a faithfulness that should fully meet the expectations of the writer’s fans. At the same time, with Swedish director Tomas Alfredson at the helm of his first English language film, one might be pardoned for hoping for a bit of the spookiness of his Let the Right One In or the political passion of le Carré’s The Constant Gardener. Instead this good, old-fashioned square-off between spymasters Karla and George Smiley demonstrates a lot more loyalty than most of its characters. It is one of the few films so visually absorbing, felicitous shot after shot, that its emotional coldness is noticed only at the end, when all the plot twists are unraveled in a solid piece of thinking-man’s entertainment for upmarket thriller audiences.
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