First and foremost, if you expect a high explosives, action packed, gun fire and combat scenes everywhere kind of movie, as today’s Hollywood enforced standard seems to be, then you’ll be sorely disappointed.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is as far from the bog standard, no thoughts and just stare at the screen action movie as is humanly possible. In fact, if you were to put a distance between them I’d say they’re a couple of solar systems apart.
It’s a movie that takes it’s time for things to evolve, the plot to unfold and characters to develop. For the best, because this is one of the strongest espionage movies, possibly THE strongest, I have seen in years.
This movie focusses entirely on events unfolding in the cold war and on the personal dramas that come with a life as a spy in these dark and dangerous times. We see some of the horrors of those days, presented in a very realistic way, and the people caught up in the machinations of powers that be. And rather than there being a villain who is set up to receive all the public’s hatred, the bad guys of this story are people with very real reasons behind the choices they have made. Choices that often set off greater events than anyone could have imagined.
I won’t delve into it any deeper, as I believe that everyone should just see this for themselves (if you are into this sort of movie at least, if you don’t want to sit down and pay attention for the entire duration then I wouldn’t recommend it). Literally everything in this movie clicks together. The plot is interesting and keeps you watching every single minute, the acting is of one of the highest levels I’ve seen recently (from every single actor in this movie no less!) and the cinematography itself is brilliantly done. Visually they did everything possible to portray the cold war era. Complete with that gritty seventies feel perfectly befitting the 1973 setting of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
It is absolutely no surprise that this movie was nominated for three Academy Awards in 2011 and the highest-grossing film at the British box office for three consecutive weeks. If you like movies set in the cold war era, or espionage tales, and are capable of sitting down and watching something that doesn’t rush through the reel so to speak, then this is a definite recommendation.