Find us on facebook

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy", frozen Cold War film

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

I'm starting to get a bit annoyed to this sort of tendency in cinema of recreating a movie genre, being it from the 60s, the 70s or the 80s, where the only concern seems to be the style. I was expecting quite a lot from "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy", but honestly, this is just a mimicking recreation of the 70s spy-thriller genre, too focused in looking perfect on screen, and not caring of what really matters, the content.

I'm sorry, but if a spy-game film works its mainly because of the story. Sadly, that's the weakest point of "Tinker...". I've read some reviews where critics use expressions as "for mature audiences", "classy", "brainy", "adult viewing drama", etc. Elitist arguments anticipating the sense of confusion/boredom audience can have watching it. Or euphemisms to defend the indefensible.

This is a film portraying the small world of powerful men fighting, conspiring to be number one, with their personal world of traumas, relations, loyalties and sex. Its also a tale of the Cold War, and I use the word "tale" on purpose, because on the film (I don't know about John Le Carré's books) it looks like a separate, mythical, fantasy dimension. And finally, is a very British story, a grey Britain that seems slowly moving from past times into an uncertain future. Believe me: we get the idea. Can we include these interesting elements on an attractive story then?

Unfortunately, not. The problem with "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" is not that is developed in a way that can only please "older generations". The problem is that for almost two slow paced hours, we are asked to assume something is actually going on, and that matters, at least to keep you watching. But at the same time we must believe all the "misteries" proposed, and all the inexplicable cuts on the key scenes. The result is a very high effort to get into the film for a very little reward in return. Director Tomas Alfredson pose a blurred bunch of ideas and situations without exploring any, offering zero suspense, in my opinion, and a serious problem of fluidity, the result of a very questionable editing. Its worse at the end (side note: what an unfortunate choice for the music, by the way), where everything is resolved in a matter of seconds, crossing the line of being ridicule.

But it is not just a matter of a confusing and unattractive plot. I simply didn't care. There is no emotional development of the characters. Gary Oldman, a terrific actor, is confined into a exaggeratedly still, pensive, underplaying role as Mr. Smiley. His forced retirement, his past and personal story, and his involvement with the characters he must investigate had a lot of potential, but  Alfredson didn't care about acting, reducing Oldman's work to a silent mannequin. The rest of a very impressive cast, including John Hurt, Toby Jones and Colin Firth is also wasted. Only Benedict Cumberbatch, who partners Smiley in his investigation, is able to bring some valuable emotions to his role. Some secondary actors, in particular Tom Hardy and Stephen Graham offer some very remarkable moments too. Them, the oppresive and bleak atmosphere and the aesthetics are the highlights of an unremarkable, extremely cold film. A huge dissapointment.

SCORE: 4,5/10

No comments:

Post a Comment