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“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - {Blu-Ray} - (Ed)
Reviewer:
Edward McNulty
Studio: Focus
Genre:
Drama
Release Date:
5/24/2012
Special Features:

See Below

Review:

Director Tomas Alfredson’s spy film is based on John Le Carre's grimly realistic 1974 novel set during the Cold War. George Smiley is brought out of forced retirement to sniff out a Soviet mole in the British Intelligence agency known as “The Circus.” The film is as far from the light-hearted James Bond spy adventures as one can get. No high speed chases, shoot outs, exotic women and locales, or geeky gadgets—just men talking together and purloining and analyzing secret files in settings sinister and as drab as a slum flat. The murky script is sometimes difficult to follow, with so many characters to follow, so I was very happy when a friend loaned me his copy of the book. Now I understand better what I saw, I think, and recommend that other filmgoers also read the book.***

Someone at the Circus is a mole leaking secrets to the Soviets that cost lives. Control (John Hurt) is forced to resign when a deal in Budapest goes terribly wrong, the former head of Intelligence believing the botched incident in which an agent was shot was a plan to reveal who the mole is. George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is brought out of retirement to discover which of four persons is the traitor. ***

I won't even try to summarize the rest of the complex plot. Smiley's is a cheerless world without much trace of warmth or friendship, a world in which one never knows if a colleague is speaking the truth because lying and concealment are the everyday tools of the trade. (How ironacal is his last name!)

Special Features:

Feature commentary with Tomas Alfredson and Gary Oldman

Behind-the-scenes featurette

Interviews with Tomas Alfredson, Peter Straughan, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, and Tom Hardy

Interview with author John le Carré

Deleted scenes

Final Words:

For a decent man concerned about truth and honor I cannot imagine anything closer to hell than having to live and work in such an organization--and we're talking about the good guys, not the Soviet spy system.***

Available both on DVD and a 2-disc Blu-Ray packet, viewers confused by a scene or remark can now stop and go back to check an earlier scene. I wish I could have done that when I first saw it in a theater!

 

 
 
 
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