1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Alec was the Old Man not Gary.....,
This review is from: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [DVD]  (DVD)
TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY...the 2011 film...was very good. Several days earlier I watched the six hour television mini-series with Alec Guinness Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Complete BBC Series . The story hasn't changed: the movie just omitted several sideline operations leaving only the hunt for the mole in Circus (the British MI-6) during the Cold War years...there were four suspects.
I enjoyed the George Smiley "the spy who came in from the cold" interpretation by Gary Oldman, who was a better age for the role; Guinness as Smiley and Alexander Knox as Control were old men in the BBC production. The other performances including Colin Firth and John Hurt were so-so...compared to the fine cast of the television series. (Although Mark Strong as Jim Prideaux and Benedict Cumberbatch as Peter Guillam were very watchable.) But the settings were dark, dreary, and dull except for the ending scenes.
A redeeming feature...a very snappy cabaret song, Le Mer, sung by Julio Iglesias after the mole was discovered ended the film with sunny portraits of the remaining Circus guys...including Smiley, the last spy, sitting on the "throne" as its chief. (I'm reminded of a regal bright red suit worn by Henry V at the end of a local production of the Shakespeare play.)
Although I could have watched this current film without the plot refreshment of the television series, I believe I did follow the story better. And to see different actors in the main roles was interesting: I have an ancient Greek attitude toward remakes.
Unfortunately, only two parts of LeCarre's Karla trilogy have been filmed. One day soon I'll watch Smiley's People  the last part of the trilogy when I have another six hours to spare! John Le Carre, the author of the novel co-wrote the screenplay.