Tomas Alfredson is the director of my favorite vampire movie I’ve ever seen, Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In), so I had big expectations for his first English language film. Have to say that film has traces of what I can call Alfredson style, great slowish pace, good framing and some spectacular indoor compositions, and a darkish/blueish tone that made me think about colder scenarios, but then –after all- film is set in the Cold War. Visually I found film very compelling but I had a problem that distract me a lot from truly enjoying the film.
I have not read the novel by John le Carré but, unfortunately I read once, more than the headline reviews and end up learning the character that was the double agent, which surely spoiled the complete story and tension building –still, performances are quite good; so highly enjoyed the almost cruel, freezing-cold bloody characters with some great dialogues.
Probably is only me but nowadays I admit not to be interested in Cold War spies, double agents, missions or anything else related. For me the world tensions have changed so much that the spying world has also changed a lot as players and circumstances have become “less classic” and more “underworld”. So even if I did enjoy the directorial style, the visuals, the slowish pace, the performances, I wasn’t able to get involved with the story. Undoubtedly knowing “who-did-it” was a major spoiler, but also story needs to be told maybe in what, 20-30 years to become relevant again.
Film basically tells the story of a British semi-retired spy that is given the task to uncover a double (British-Russian) agent at the TOP of British echelons.
But if you enjoy classical–very close to reality- spy films with no Hollywood distracting chases/sfx’s, with darkish/blueish great directorial style and great performances by an extraordinary actor’s ensemble that deliver some crisp lines then probably you will enjoy this movie even more than what I did.
Watch trailer @MOC