Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
We have a rotten apple, Jim.
on 11 January 2016
First off, I want to say that I own the book, the 7 part Tv series, the BBC4 audiobook and this DVD of the film. I'm not trying to make out, I'm some kind of expert, (I know I'm not!), but to make the point that each is unique and has to be judged on its own merits. They are all in a different medium and are distinct, although the source material is obviously the same. I mean what is the point of critically comparing any film to its book?
Anyway, I approached this film in that way, on its own merits and I think it is very accomplished. The acting on show is first class, with turns from Firth, Hurt, Cumberbatch and Toby Jones and Tom Hardy. At the centre, Oldman is very good as the introspective, cerebral, Smiley. There is a terrific little scene early on, in a car, where there is a wasp or bee buzzing around inside the vehicle. Whereas the other occupants flap their arms around trying to shoo it away, Smiley simply watches it and calmly opens his window to let it fly out. It nicely frames the character of the man in a simple scene with no dialogue.
The identity of a spy in MI6 is slowly revealed as Smiley, methodically, pieces the clues together.
(As a side note, the lives of these people really don't seem very appealing to me at all. just a life of suspicion and subterfuge, with a bit of paranoia and loneliness thrown in, at no extra cost).
I gave it 4 stars out of 5, not as a film adaptation of a book, but as a film. It is very well made, the acting is top-notch and it has a gripping story. Ticks the boxes for me.