Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Director: Thomas Alfredson
Starring: John Hurt, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Toby Jones, Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch...

The film posters for Alfredson's adaptation of John Le Carre's cult novel have taken London's bus shelters by force. The occupation has served to remind me for six months now how much I am looking forwards to this film, from the Let The Right One In director. Upon first glance of the posters thoughts of the spy films we know and love fill our minds; Bourne, Bond, bombs and boobs are a set montage that come with the genre. Tinker Tailor could not have set itself further apart from our culturally ingrained preconceptions of it.
It is beautiful, reflective and slowly astounding. The chronically all-star cast step out of their familiarity one by one and though we are incredibly well acquainted with their previous roles Alfredson allows them to become new and interesting; Oldman is, for two and a half hours only, an up-and-coming newcomer to hollywood. The same is difficult to say for Firth, who is sadly a good but monotonous actor, and if it were he carrying the weight of the film upon his shoulders it may have floundered. With Oldman, it glides.
Discussing the film with an acquaintance, he quoted a review he had read, or his own opinion, I cannot quite remember and called the film pseudo-intellectual, with 'too many conversational scenes and much less action that I'd hoped'. Ladies and gentlemen, there is nothing pseudo about the intellectual side of the film, nor is there any issue with the inching pace of the film. If you want action, perhaps you might go and see Tom Hardy's other new release, Warrior, but don't attempt to pin it on every film you go and see. This is a film that, although I know very little of it, adds more reality to the world of espionage and genuineness to the events of the film than Bond will ever be able to, precisely because it amputates the epileptic explosions of it's contemporaries. And if you don't like the subtlety, more fool you. For me it is this that is what sets it so far apart from being quality time spent in the cinema to being a masterpiece.
As soon as I can I will watch the 70s TV series, I've been repeatedly told of it's superiority. If it is superior, it's bound to blow all of our minds.