After the huge success of the, well, lets be honest, tad overrated Let the Right One In Alfredson has been trusted with the reigns to a comparatively large budgeted English language film. Alfredson, known for his downbeat style of filmmaking, brings a similar colour palette over from his Swedish movies and paints London in a swell of greys, faded greens and lacklustre blues. London looks cold and unloved, mirroring our protagonist George Smiley’s mood. Gary Oldman, as Smiley, provides a performance of great subtlety, and profundity, he never gives a breath away more than he needs to. It’s positively sombre, if you know what I mean. The film is littered with great performances, from Colin Firth’s snidey Bill Haydon right across to Tom Hardy’s hardy Ricki Tarr. And they are all photographed in a beautiful, detatched way. You can really notice Alfredon’s love of long lenses, which he employs adroitly to capture and distance us from each character. The nature of the film reminded me of the great Coppola film, The Conversation, – I’d take watching The Conversation any day of the week, and twice on a Sunday, over Apocalypse Now, but that’s a whole different blog entry waiting to happen- they both build up their narrative in an equally enthralling way. However, and here is my main bone of contention with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the ending lacks something. I don’t want to give too much away if you haven’t seen it yet, but there’s a distinct lack of surprise to it all. I shall say no more, but that’s what’s stopping me from scoring it more highly.
(I apologize for calling Tom Hardy hardy, I can’t resist a pun.)
Marks out of ten – Eight.