Capsule Review: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

***Is about as convoluted a plot as anyone could wish for. This is a subtle film with so many nuanced looks and character references one must keep track of every tic and blink that passes from eye to eye.

This is also the type of film that makes me wonder if there is going to be a coming “great divide” in this country between age groups who watch movies. There are films for a certain age that I know my 21 year old niece refuses to watch. The Black & White & low-tech films of yore are not high on her list.

On the other hand, the girl with a Dragon Tattoo is someone that she can easily identify with. I thought that I, a middle-aged woman, would not be able to identify with this character. But in the way of cinematic magic, there is a universal element that everyone who has been dumped or has been alone or has been asked to fend for him or herself can find in this vulnerable yet hardened young woman.

In “Tinker, Tailor”, we are back to the low-tech world of the early 70’s and the Cold War era where all eavesdropping requires elaborately placed listening devices and the real world of James Bond emerges. There is nothing remotely similar to the antics of the comic-book action figure that Mr. Bond has become. This world is inhabited by quiet men in tweedy suits wearing unassuming expressions with glassy stares.

I must admit that there are a few moments that teeter on the edge of attention-deficit danger in the middle of the film. But the plot is definitely one where all lovers of mystery and good story-telling will want to know how it all ties together in the end. It is simply convoluted, if it is possible to be both simple in technological jargon yet convoluted in the realm of sophisticated dialogue and plot.

With the low-tech world nicely portrayed in this and the recent “Killer Elite”, we are forced to remember what the world was like before Tom Cruise gave us Mission Impossible to the nth degree and only high-technology will do to entertain the mass viewing audience.

We are still expected to think and therefore, the old fashioned Sherlock Holmes-ian style of critical analysis and logical thinking applies here. We must do our homework for this film, and that, in the end, is a good thing!

Published by

MLJ

Author of "6 Degrees of Film: The Future of Film in the Global Village", Ms. Johnson continues to blog on film and publishes a newsletter plus the Flipboard magazine 6 Degrees of Film @ the Movies. Her book is currently available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Degrees-Film-Future-Global-Village/

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