Customer Review

132 of 162 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's not supposed to be the book, or the series..., 17 Jan 2012
This review is from: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
For everyone comparing this new movie to the book and the tv series (and I am a fan of both) - Le Carre himself has said in interviews that he categorically did not want someone just copying the book or even the series. He wanted a new take on the story. Yes, it is different. Of course it would have been nice to have characters fleshed out a bit more, but then, I think that will be the problem with anyone who has read the book or seen the series - you expect the same thing stuffed into an hour something, and that is nigh on impossible. My only personal gripe is that I didn't really understand some seemingly superficial changes, like Sam Collins (in the book) being changed in name to Gerry Westerby (considering Gerry is a whole big character on his own in the second book, and ultra posh to boot), Czech Republic being changed to Hungary etc. But that is minor, and overall, I think this was a great, quiet movie, the kind of thing you just don't get anymore. To the commentator who said this movie was more about betrayal than spies, it's probably true that this was the emphasis, but in the book, it is just as much about the nature of betrayal in relationships as it is about spies (in the book see Guillam/Camilla, Smiley/Ann, Little Bill/Prideaux, Connie/The Circus and even reality as she knew it, etc etc), to the point where you wonder if there is anything redeeming about the world outside of the Circus.
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Jan 2012 15:48:34 GMT
John Frum says:
A new take on the story? How so? It's exactly the same story, horribly truncated. As someone who has enjoyed Gary Oldman's previous performances - those that I've seen - I was shocked by the inert, lifeless, unimaginative interpretation. I keep coming back to the original TV series. It's so much better on every level; where the acting's concerned, it's in another league.

Posted on 10 Feb 2012 19:36:36 GMT
Thank you for the review and I agree about the odd changes. I think the problem for this film is that it is in many ways too deep for many who want spoon-fed action and the plot laid out. The portrayals of what this life and the people in it was in its time is superb. One of the points that is missed by so many is just how introspective and insecure these people were - how many of them were incapable of having full and 'normal' relationships outside of the Circus or it's counterparts.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Feb 2012 20:25:43 GMT
J. Cheetham says:
I agree but the film doesn't actually bring that out, there's little character development which is unforgivable in a film devoid of action. The screenplay is just not good enough. Lack of time cannot be an excuse either, if you think about the way Hitchcock was able to handle such complex plot lines so efficiently in 2 hours, this is amatuerish by comparison. OK, probably unfair to compare this dierctor with one of the all time greats, but as John Frum says, the acting and script are put to shame by the TV series.

Posted on 13 Feb 2012 08:08:24 GMT
Je Salter says:
I was really looking forward to this film after reading some excellent reviews but I found it to be one of the most boring and drab features I've ever sat through.

Posted on 17 Feb 2012 13:06:47 GMT
M. Rossiter says:
I really enjoyed this film (and still do), but after seeing all the negative reviews I can only assume that the TV series was really something special. will have to order it!

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Feb 2012 14:08:57 GMT
Last edited by the author on 17 Feb 2012 14:09:46 GMT
sean cutter says:
So did I. The tv series was superb and did have more time to develop some of the characters but within the confines of a 2 hour film slot you cannot do that to the same degree. And Smiley's People is also a super TV series and follows on from TTSS.

Posted on 24 Feb 2012 16:00:05 GMT
Last edited by the author on 24 Feb 2012 16:04:04 GMT
Mr. S. Hugo says:
Comparing Gary Oldman's performance to that of Sir Alec Guinness reminds me of the fight between Brian London and Mohamed Ali i.e. a total mismatch. The same goes for the comparison between the BBC series and the film. Le Carré is bound to say nice things about the film; but the plain truth is that the BBC series was a masterpiece, the film isn't.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 May 2012 23:09:47 BDT
to John Frum, re Gary Oldman's performance compared to his previous roles, does this not further display to us Oldman's range of acting talent: from action to quiet character scenes: if you look at it that way: yes he's drab but it was drab times, these folk were meant to blend into the background or the grey and drab and become like invisible men, therefore on that scene he succeeded, he was mesmerising behind those dead-calm expressions. Just some opposing thoughts to promote discussion, and thanks for your review.

Posted on 10 Dec 2012 20:57:35 GMT
Franco says:
I have seen neither the series, no read the book, and so I am not making a comparison with those when I say that I found this film to be categorically dreadful.

There are plenty of "great, quiet" movies still being made which actually have character development and a coherent narrative. Winter's Bone, True Grit (2011), No Country for Old Men etc.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Dec 2012 21:36:14 GMT
It's interesting that we are all so different in our likes dislikes appreciations. True Grit re-make was True Mumbles, laughable that Maddie was an adult in a young girl's role, and Bridges mumbled through his fungus beard so that he couldn't be understood. There's great quiet, and there's wooden-post. It was pathetic. No Country for Old Men was one fantastic film.
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