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Monday, December 12, 2011

TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY

By D.E.Levine

As a great fan of John Le Carre's novel, this film is a reiteration of a story already told successfully in a successful TV mini series, starring Alec Guiness, back in the 20th century.

Based at the height of the Cold War in the mid-20th century, MI6 secretly brings back George Smiley (Gary Oldman), a discredited and disgraced British spy.

Convinced that there's a mole inside, the British Secret Intelligence (known as "The Circus") thinks they've been compromised by a double agent working for the Soviet Union.

Despite a stellar cast of British actors, including Colin Firth, John Hurt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Simon McBurney and Mark Strong, Oldman, with his poker-faced portrayal of Smiley, dominates the film.
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In his quiet, precise manner, Smiley must determine which of his former colleagues has been working for the Soviets against them as MI6 tries to win the Cold War. But, Smiley cannot tell anyone except one or two chaps that he trusts to work with him, what he's doing.

Forced out with his boss "Control" (John Hurt) when an unauthorized sting goes bad, Smiley is brought in on the QT because of lingering suspicions of a double agent which originated with Control.

This is a thriller of a different nature. It's very quiet, very controlled, very British.

The outcome is a surprise in several ways. It's true to the book and even if you know the story you'll enjoy the way it plays out.