Sunday, 2 October 2011

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Tomas Alfredson, 2011
BBFC rating: 15

I would never have looked any further than the title of this film had I not heard the hype, and found out it was directed by Tomas Alfredson (who turned a mediocre pulp novel into a masterpiece with Let the Right One In). It just sounds too silly. But I was bowled over by Alfredson's involvement and the rave reviews it's been receiving, and went for it. I found myself rather disappointed. It has the singular, atmospheric feel and look that Let the Right One In had, albeit here it's miserable, smoky, 1970s London rather than white, harsh Swedish suburbia. Unfortunately - and I realise this is more likely to be my fault than the film's - the plot was very difficult to follow, largely because there were so many characters and so little time in which to learn their names. Which military intelligence bod has sold them out to the Russians? It's very hard to tell when you can't put the hints about characters together because you can't remember which one is which. So while it's not boring, it is confusing, and seems longer than necessary. Or maybe it's just that I just would have preferred to see Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Vampire.

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