Additional thoughts on Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

by Mr. Nobel

A few things escaped my notice the first time I viewed the film. Most of them are bad, though not really noteworthy enough to lower the film’s score.

  • The editing is kind of atrocious. I don’t mean that in a high level, macro sense. The pacing’s fine, as is the general flow and progression of the film. Rather, the individual, nuts and bolts shot to shot editing is awful. Of particular turpitude are any scenes in which a close up of a character is matched with a long shot of the character in a completely different geometric position (i.e. two separate instances in which Ciaran Hinds and Toby Jones are on the roof of Circus). This isn’t helped by…
  • The grainy film stock used in the film. I like film grain fine, but when coupled with hazily focused wide angle shots, a lot of the frame just devolves into this ghastly mess of grain and color.
  • That flaming owl is like something out of fucking Harry Potter. Nice touch.
  • I’m a little confused by why Benedict Cumberbatch is placed outside of the apartment before the mole arrives in the safe house, or why he starts stalking into the house when Smiley gives the signal via the fan exhaust.
  • In the script, Tom Hardy’s character gets blueballed in Paris by someone resembling Irina. I’m not entirely sure why they took out that scene and replaced it with a rather generic stare-into-store-window sendoff for Hardy.