Brave faces abound in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, a very smart drama from EOne Entertainment now sparking interest at the Scotiabank Theatre.
Master of smart thrillers John le Carre appears again on the screen in his inspiring Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, a smart film based on his best-selling novel from EOne Entertainment. Aided and abetted by a stellar cast this British made film marks the first entry into the espionage sweepstakes this fall season. Consider this movie to be a perfect counterweight to the flambouyance of the James Bond series, which we will be seeing again next year with Skyfall. Forget the glamour here as le Carre plots a great tale of intrigue and duplicity behind enemy lines.
Ground zero for director Thomas Alfredson (Let the Right One in) is the British secret service. Apparently there may be a mole on the loose. Out to nab him/her is the chief spymaster who goes by the name of Control. Not to be confused with the organization that “ran” Agent 86 Maxwell Smart in the hit Mel Brooks television comedy series from NBC, this taskmaster is played with lots of gusto by John Hurt (V for Vendetta). Funny how people suddenly start dying as trench welfare inside the corridors of the secret service develop. A take no prisoners attitude develops with one man brought in to clean up the mess.
Back from the cold is top espionage man George Smiley. Top actor Gary Oldman (Red Riding Hood) comes across as the quintessential public servant who no one in a million years would suspect of being a spy. Glamour is short-circuited throughout this 127 minute affair as we watch the hired hands go through the motions to catch a traitor.
Among the usual suspects of possible agents who have turned are a quartet of top level officers at MI5 well acted out by such heavyweights as Oscar winning Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), Toby Jones and Ciaran Hinds. What makes Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy so good are three elements: standout acting, wonderful atmosphere of the power layers in the intelligence community and a no-nonsense approach to get at the truth. Less heroics and more attention to detail also give this film a strong impact as a dramatic piece.
Just a touch slow at times Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy will fully satisfy those espionage fans who crave smart who-dunnits where brain power outmuscles fisticuffs every time. Set in the 60s and shot in and around Budapest the film almost has a 3rd man feel to it and will appeal to folks who enjoy not knowing how actually is the evil menace until the very last frame.