When it's over, see this film for the quality of the drama. With a solid British cast, it was hard not to be impressed by the fantastic acting and visual style of Tomas Alfredson's adaptation to John Le Carre's novel. At times, the story was hard to follow as the story was pieced together with the use of flashbacks and reversed storytelling. There were several parts in the film where I felt I needed to speak “spy” in order to understand what was happening. Just keeping track of the players and each person's role and involvement required extra effort. At the end, all the pieces fit nicely, but the road to the end can be slow, and at times, confusing, causing the less political thriller inclined viewer to nod off briefly, especially in the beginning when the story was still evolving. I have spoken to people who found the film amazing, but I didn't feel this way. I ventured into this film for the cast of accomplished actors rather than the story, and for that, I'm not disappointed. I may not have received the type of satisfaction I would normally have from seeing a film I can respond to, but nevertheless, I had a great experience watching some of my favorite actors exchange scenes together. Gary Oldman turned out a brilliant performance as Agent Smiley, an espionage specialist during the Cold War. Smiley is assigned to uncover the mole in the British Secret Service. Along with his team (Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch), they round up the suspects, played by Colin Firth, Ciarian Hinds, and Toby Jones. Mark Strong and John Hurt rounded out the notable cast. I can't complain about any of the acting. They were all great, like watching a veteran acting workshop unfold.
My rating: 3.5 out of 5