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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Blu Ray Review


Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Blu Ray Review

Rating: M
Released by Universal Home Entertainment

Based on the book by John Le Carre and adapted for a seven part BBC series, this latest is an espionage film which saw a long overdue Oscar nomination for Gary Oldman.

Oldman stars as George Smiley, a retired British spy who's asked to investigate the possibility of a Soviet mole high up in British Intelligence (nicknamed The Circus) in the 1970s. The head of intelligence Control (John Hurt) believes the mole is one of the four people who report directly to him and has his suspicions given credence after the shooting of one of their own while investigating his claims.

But as Smiley begins to investigate, he discovers the conspiracy is a lot deeper than he expected and when spy Ricky Tan (Tom Hardy) returns after apparently defecting to Russia, the web grows tighter.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is not a film for those who like quick fix entertainment; it's a brilliantly crafted piece of paranoia and suspicion which rewards engrossing viewing and those who like a complex plot.

Perhaps, unfortunately it is a little dense at times - though that could be more of a reflection on audiences who don't traditionally lap up this kind of material.

Thankfully, riveting performances from an extremely strong cast, led superbly by Gary Oldman, mean you can't actually tear your eyes away. Each of them is given their individual moment to shine as well. Of the group, Benedict Cumberbatch's spy is the stand out performer and although the rest of the cast all get their time, it's Cumberbatch (the latest Sherlock) who really breaks through here.

The 1970s of Britain are superbly recreated with the drab browns and greys and attention to period details being spot on. It's also stunningly shot - but it's Gary Oldman who really shines in this adaptation which pours more importance on looks and stares rather than words and exposition.

Oldman brings a nuanced and textured take to the spy who was so definitively played by Alec Guinness back in the 1970s. There's also a cruelty lurking under his precise veneer which you're never quite sure is going to break out at any moment.

All in all, in a good way, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy feels like an old fashioned espionage film - it's suspenseful and masterful and an intelligent nights worth of entertainment.

Extras: Commentary with Gary Oldman and director, John  le Carre interview and deleted scenes

Rating: 8/10


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