There are few things I enjoy more than spy movies that focus on old world Europe during those grey days of the Cold War. I remember those days well and no novel captures the time and mood of the period like Jean Le Carre's 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'. My father loved spy books like this. I still have his beaten up old copy in my library.
Based on the classic novel of the same name, the international thriller is set at the height of the Cold War years of the mid-20th Century. George Smiley (Gary Oldman), a disgraced British spy, is rehired in secret by his government - which fears that the British Secret Intelligence Service, a.k.a. MI-6, has been compromised by a double agent working for the Soviets.
It's the little details that I loved here. The antiquated pre-computer way that records were kept and moved. It's no wonder that secrets were the most fleeting of things.
A jazzy blues soundtrack carries everything along.
This is the kind of movie that rewards viewers who pays attention to the little details. I felt like I was in Smiley's mind the whole time that he worked through his investigation. It's a subtle but thrilling performance by Gary Oldman.
The movie respects it's audience enough to resist the urge to over explain everything that is happening on screen. Some may find the style pompous and difficult but I found it riveting. Knowing the story as I did, it was nice to see all the dense details of the book slimmed down. I can, however, see how some would find the story confusing.
With silver hair, thick-rimmed glasses, and a brilliant, analytical mind, his Smiley is as much great detective as he is super-spy – a feeling reinforced by the casting of Benedict Cumberbatch as his Dr Watson, Peter Guillam, and the unseen presence of Karla, his Russian nemesis and Dr Moriarty.
A deliberate, cerebral, grim and utterly absorbing film that makes covert operations appear as unsexy as the Bourne films made them seem fast-paced and thrilling.
Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness
I forever stand vigilant to protect this planet from the myriad of forces that are always against us. Be it the octopus, zombies, aliens or the robots my team of human agents, and our feline allies, circle the globe in a never ending struggle for human freedom.
I learn all I can on every subject that interests me. I especially enjoy ancient history because in the past there are valuable lessons to be found. Also, if I ever get my time machine to work properly, it would be good to know a bit about possible destinations and what to expect when I get there.
I greatly appreciate beautiful design. Be it manufactured or found naturally I am fascinated by the process of invention. I am attracted to the unique, the strange, the haunted. I like to share what I find on this blog.
And not let us forget the 'Cephalopod Menace' who, if allowed to, would wrap their tentacles around all that is good and pure in this life and crush it until it remained no more. They are creatures of pure spite. Hate is all they know. Death is all they do. They are our most ruthless and determined enemy.
So we fight. Selena has the celebrity contacts, the cat is ruthless and without pity, Roosevelt's ghost has the experience and I do the wetwork.
Fighting for the future of the planet doesn't have to be a chore, however. We can take the time to appreciate all that is cool in this world even as we cut the octopus into bite sized chunks.
This is the reason there has always been and must forever be, a Cave of Cool. Be sure to wipe your feet before you enter.