How do you find an enemy that is hidden right before your eyes? Well, if you’re Gary Oldman it takes you precisely an hour and a half, but could one expect any less of the actor who was the only good element in Coppola’s Dracula (a naked Monica Bellucci aside)? Tinker Tailor is an excellent film and while it has taken 3 days for it to sink in as being so, I’m satisfied that I finally got to see it. Admittedly, this was a rare occasion where I hadn’t read the book (head hanging, shame etc…) but I had an idea of the storyline and do enjoy the themes in Le Carre’s fiction. The first half hour felt a bit slow but it also became painstakingly clear early on exactly who Smiley (Oldman) needs to be focusing on.
Director Tomas Alfredson, responsible for 2008′s Låt den rätte komma in (Let The Right One In) has done a wonderful job of ensuring a 70′s feel and ambience to the film. Everything down to sweet packets and street bollards has the authenticity of 1970′s Britain and classic London smog. My companion and I were in agreement that this is a film where almost everything is left unspoken and the viewer must work things out for themselves, mainly through the visuals. This is perhaps quite suited to Le Carre’s writing style and themes of espionage and it certainly works for this film in a way that many other spy films could learn from – producers of Brosnan’s James Bond, I am talking to you.
The film works and the acting provides much of its success. With Oldman, Firth and Mark Strong offering solid performances in particular, Tinker Tailor is well worth checking out if only for the acting. The 1970′s boardroom style meeting area for British Intelligence adds a touch of laconic, Thatcher-ite gloom alongside excellent shots of a bleak and dreary looking London. Overall, Alfredson is an impressive director and Le Carre’s contribution can be felt quite clearly. Definitely worth seeing on the big screen.
All Rights Reserved © Copyright 2011 Michelle Lacey (Michelle Ní Láitheása).