In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet mole within his former colleagues at the heart of MI6.
The russians have placed a mole within the Circus (who is the british intelligence service, by the way). George Smiley (Gary Oldman), having been fired from the Circus, has now been rehired (secretly) to find the mole. He assembles his small team and begins to look into the matters. The possibilities are plenty, Percy (Toby Jones), Esterhase (David Dencik), Roy Bland (Ciaran Hinds) and Bill Haydon (Colin Firth). His old friend, Control (John Hurt), even suspected George himself of being the mole. This movie is directed by a personal favorite of mine, Tomas Alfredson, who also created the vampire movie, _Let the Right One In_ (Lad den rette komme ind), as well as the amazing, _Four Shades of Brown_ (fire nuancer af brun). He is a master of creating a dark and mysterious atmosphere, and does exactly that in this movie. The pace is slow, the music is scarce and the colours are old and faded, perfect for a spy movie such as this. Watching this movie is like watching a puzzle being carefully put together in front of you. It takes time to get it just right, and you have to look carefully at all the pieces. Good things takes time, and this movie understands that. The viewer has to watch carefully, because it constantly goes from the present and into the past. People who have died, are resurrected in the memories of the past, to help us construct the final image. _Last words... this movie will not appeal to everyone, it requires the viewer to be active, watch carefully, and to appreciate the slow narrative. I will gladly admit that I have tried watching this movie three times before I finally succeeded in watching all of it. I am not normally a fan of these sort of movies, but I can always appreciate spectacular acting, and the craftmanship of a truly great director, and so, this movie becomes so much more than just a spy movie. It becomes a movie about people living on the edge of a war, trying to survive, trying to find the one threat that might break down the wall and destroy the british empire._
Great cast, nice cinematography and a fascinating plot. 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' is very much a slow burn but it's worth it at the end, even if I wouldn't describe the premise as unpredictable - it isn't predictable per se, I just can't say I was majorly surprised at what occurs that's all. It's not as complicated as the film suggests I feel, that's not a criticism but I'm just saying if I wrote down what I thought was going to happen at the start and checked it at the end, I'd be mostly right - at least with an outline. That's not me being big headed, I just feel it throws a lot of false curve balls to go around the houses a tad. The only part, to be honest, I didn't fully get while watching was the Polyakov bits. All the cast give excellent performances, with Gary Oldman (Smiley) and Colin Firth (Haydon) standing out most. You've also got Tom Hardy (Tarr), Mark Strong (Prideaux), Benedict Cumberbatch (Guillam), Stephen Graham (Westerby) and Toby Jones (Alleline) all there too. You can't really go wrong with a list like that. The onscreen talent carry events, but this is still a film that keeps you watching and paying attention - just not to a deep, deep level. With everything said, I still enjoyed this. You should definitely give it a view.