I'm an idiot. I naturally assumed that this film starred Sir Alec Guinness. —I.e., the version made circa 1969. Alec IS Smiley and Smiley is Sir Alec. Anyone else is an imitation. So why does Amazon NOT have the original film??!! I am truly angry. I simply did not know that someone decided to take a few years out of his life and spend a few million dollars to remade a film that did NOT need remaking. NOT! This film did NOT need to be remade/ AUGHHHH! —Ripped of again by the big "A".
Calm...calm down. OK. I will try to write an unbiased review.
This is still a darn good flicker. 'Tis nowhere near the original version, but it is quality work. It retains much of what John le Carré intended. But, once youvb'e had top-drawer Darjeeling, it is difficult to go back to Brooke Bond.
One reviewer said, "1.0 out of 5 stars Boring Spy Snoozefest".
Oh dear. I simply had to check his profile...and sure enough his photo was clear and posted I simply needed to see what an utter twit looked like. Why would someone post their photo publicly on Amazon? I posted my photo, but not really...—have a look.
This movie is NOT a "snoozefest", but likely THE MOST REALISTIC spy flicker ever made. The film is more subtle. This film rewards repeat viewing. Is this the sign of a poor ciné film?!!
For some, reading the book will help. Indeed, the movie does seem to avoid the protagonist character (the villain), —alas, so does the book. (Unfortunately, for me, a dead giveaway.) Understand that this movie gives NOTHING away for free. You must WORK at understanding the scenes and dialogue. Americans like to be spoon fed, and this flick will NOT do that. If you feel this film is a "snoozefest" than, instead, try watching "Gidget Goes To Spanish Harlem". You may find Gidget better matches your intellect.
However, if your pay close attention and watch Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy a couple of times , you will have a high old time.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" — What happened to "Poorman"?
PS: The trade craft, as explained in the book, is deadly accurate for MI6. The movie is also accurate, but trade craft, by nature is NOT a show. John La Carré, after all, worked for the Home Office and MI5. He knows his stuff. Gee, I wish a Mossad agent would retire and write a similar book. But, this will never happen. One of many reasons why The Mossad is the best intel agency in the world. Mossad loyalty is beyond anything most people could understand. (PET is the second best agency)
BUT, sufficient clues ARE present in this movie.
One faint, but poignant clue; —Notice how Jim Prideaux as a teacher, befriends the outcast boy named "Bill", and says, "I've known a few fellows named 'Bill' in my time, and they have all been good-uns'." —Like "Bill" Hayden?
Watch this flick a few times, and stuff like this starts to hit you over the head.