12/09/2011

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy


Espionage novelist John le Carré is basically the British John Grisham in that he spent a few years working for MI5 and MI6 and used that experience to make his name and fortune. As I'm an uncultured swine who prefers to re-read Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes rather than discover literary works of note, I've never cast my eye over the apparently dense plot of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Shame that, because maybe if I had I would've understood what the fuck was going on instead of looking like I was trying to divide 232 by 13. Not that my stupidity is a criticism of this otherwise perfect film because it is quite flawless. The acting, costume design, cinematography and direction is so good I feel quite comfortable about pulling out my favourite adjective. Mmmmm.....

Talk of its inability to appeal to the mass market - aka, it doesn't talk down to you and we all know audiences are stupid - is already rife but that may have something to do with the fact that we've become so used to spies killing assassins with towels and making endless references to female genitalia over a cocktail that a few well-dressed, middle-aged men in a room filled with cigarette smoke talking just doesn't cut it. That's not my problem with it however, I just felt like I was sitting an exam that required a lot of attention and I still failed. Even though I didn't neccessarily enjoy it and have no intention of watching it again, it is very good, so if you are able to divide 120 by 8 without the use of a calculator (true story) then you'll probably be fine.