What do you do when you have a complex Spy/Mystery story from a long novel that you want to turn into a movie? No matter how you write it, it’s just too long.
Well one thing you could do is just throw away every second page of the script. That’s what I think they must have done when shooting Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, based on John le Carre’s bestselling novel. Either that or essentially the same thing happened at the editing stage.
Watching this film is very demanding. Scenes are truncated and require a considerable amount on inference in order to follow the plot. The result is a disjointed, bumpy experience where you’re always trying to figure out what, in fact, is happening. The characters are very two dimensional, and while complex motivations are often hinted at, we always feel like we are on the outside looking in. Perhaps that was the idea, but if it was it is not a successful viewing experience.
I would give this film a C-.