Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
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- Director: Tomas Alfredson
- Writers: Bridget O’Connor (screenplay), Peter Straughan (screenplay)
- Stars: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Tom Hardy
- Release Date: January 2012
- Genre: Thriller
- Run Time: 127 min
The secret is out.
In the early 1970s during the Cold War, the head of British Intelligence, Control, resigns after an operation in Budapest, Hungary goes badly wrong. It transpires that Control believed one of four senior figures in the service was in fact a Russian agent – a mole – and the Hungary operation was an attempt to identify which of them it was. Smiley had been forced into retirement by the departure of Control, but is asked by a senior government figure to investigate a story told to him by a rogue agent, Ricky Tarr, that there was a mole. Smiley considers that the failure of the Hungary operation and the continuing success of Operation Witchcraft (an apparent source of significant Soviet intelligence) confirms this, and takes up the task of finding him. Through the efforts of Peter Guillam, Smiley obtains information that eventually leads him to Jim Prideaux, the agent at the heart of the Hungary fiasco. He is then able to put together the pieces of the puzzle, which lead him to the identity of the mole and the true intent of Operation Witchcraft.
Review: Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is one of the best British films for a long time and perhaps my film of the year. There is not much I can criticise about the film, the plot, adapted from the best-selling novel by John Le Carre, is top-notch; Alfredson’s direction captures the Cold War perfectly and there is certainly nothing to criticise about its performances.
This film has some of the best British actors working today, with Gary Oldman leading as George Smiley, an experienced spy with a troubled past, Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy as operatives caught up in the hunt for a Russian mole, who could be a number of high-ranking men in MI6, including Colin Firth and Toby Jones and, as John Hurt’s Control may suspect, Smiley himself.
I recommend this film not only to people who enjoy espionage/ cold war thrillers but anyone who appreciates film in its excellence and a showcase of Oscar-worthy performances.