Film: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

This has been one of my most anticipated films of the year. The cast, to be frank, is bloody amazing. You see Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch and John Hurt and clearly you can’t fail. It’s another film in the long line of book adaptations hitting the big screen recently, although I hadn’t actually read the original novel this time before I went to see the film. My boyfriend however is a big John le Carre fan, and was desperate to see this even though he’s not a big cinema goer so off we popped to a Sunday afternoon showing with masses of popcorn and milkshakes to keep us going.

The story is undeniably brilliant, and plants a number of seeds in your mind that keep ticking over. I only realised some seemingly obvious plot twists when we were waiting for our bus home. However, I’m actually struggling to write about what happened. The pace of the film was purposely slow to increase tension, but I ended up being a bit bored half way through when there didn’t seem to be much headway with who the mole was. Yes, there was tension, but it didn’t reach a huge climax as you would expect. It’s built up and up and then the main revelation comes so casually that I wasn’t even entirely sure if the crux of the film had been reached at all.

The highlights of the film were Tom Hardy’s performance as Ricky, the piece perfect sets and costumes which fitted the period perfectly, and the superb sound which highlighted every breath and every footstep. Overall I think the focus on having the essence of a spy film overtook the most important part of the script: the big  revelation. And it’s not because I need fireworks, car chases or rounds of gun fire. For example, ‘Moon‘ has its primary reveal relatively early on in the film, but its subtlety isn’t so subtle that you basically miss it, as in TTSS.

And I can’t even read the book now as I know what happens!