The film is based on John le Carré espionage-novel “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”. John le Carré (also known as David Cornwell) writes the novel based on experiences during his time as a member of the British Intelligence service sectors MI5 and MI6 during the 1950s and 1960s. After directing a distinctive vampire-drama “Let The Right One In”, Swedish director Tomas Alfredson sculpted a fine, absorbing picture which engrosses from beginning to end, and it’s absolutely brilliant.
Sets in British post World War II, precisely during the Cold War. Control (John Hurt), the leader of an unknown sector of the British Intelligence service, is ousted along with his long-standing companion George Smiley (Gary Oldman) due to a botched operation in Budapest, Hungary which saw the officer Jim Prideaux (Mark Strong) murdered in public. Control had senses that there was a mole among the top ranking members of the service, referred to as the Circus by the other top ranking members due to its location in Cambridge Circus, London. Fortunately, a British agent, Ricki Tarr (Tom Hardy) discovers that there may be a high ranking Soviet mole within the Circus. And for obvious reason Smiley is drawn out of retirement to pinpoint the culprit after Control passes away, Aided by Peter Guillam (Bendedict Cumberbatch) the young Intelligence officer who is Tarr’s handler. Smiley has four primary candidates to focus his investigation upon, which they are the last remaining members of the Circus, Bill Haydon (Colin Firth), Percy Alleline (Toby Jones), Roy Bland (Ciarán Hinds) and Toby Esterhase (David Dencik).
For your consideration, this is a slow-burn film, full of meaningful looks, crafty dialogue and one that hints at deeper and more complex plot strands but it has an authentic air and it is a fascinating to observe a build-up of tension and Alfredson never rushes any moment, instead he allows for the audience to become accustomed to their surroundings and appreciate the beauty. If you’re expecting fast-paced-full of action and flying cars, then put your expectation aside for the summer. Because I’m sure that this will not suited for many mainstream movie-goer’s tastes, it is one for those who are looking for a film of a different type, time and pace.
Hitting all the right notes in its performances, script, and direction, the film triumphantly infuses a challenging narrative with a deeper humanity, and questioning devotion to duty affects all aspects of our lives.