Movie Review: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

The opening credits were not even done and I was already lost. I never recovered. The rest of the movie was boring and I literally nodded off a few times. I didn’t know what was going on, who was where, whether the action was in Budapest, London, Moscow or Paris, and why all the hoopla. At home I would have simply turned the thing off. But having just paid full price in a movie theater, I stuck with it, hoping against reason that something would come of it.

Most of the action takes place in London in smoke-filled rooms or dreary government buildings. A few people get killed. A lot of whispering spy stuff is going on, but none of it makes much sense.

Based on a spy novel by John Le Carre, it plays in the early 1970ies in Europe. The British figure out that there must be a mole in the highest echelon of the MI6, the Britisch intelligence organization. The story is about who it is.

The best line in the movie is when an aged retired female operative sits down with one of her former colleages, sees a young couple necking across the room, and says: “I don’t know about you, but I feel seriously underfucked.”

I am sure all the pieces fit together like a 1000 piece Ravensburger jigsaw puzzle, but to construct it I’d have to watch the movie another five times and take written notes. But please, once was enough, and a second time would be torture.

I imagine the novel might be riveting. However, this is proof that some novels should not become movies.

Rating: zero stars.

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