Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy: There's a mole among us

This mirror image of Gary Oldman as British super-spy George Smiley is the Movie Slut's favorite moment in TTSS. It's not only visually arresting, but it also asks the question: Is he the double agent at the heart of this retro thriller?

It seems a mole has infiltrated the highest ranks of the British Secret Service. In fact, that nugget of information is repeated so often that when the gorgeous gal spy, Irina, turns up with a — you guessed it — mole beside her perfect lips, you can't help but wonder. (Or laugh.)

What you begin wondering depends on your tolerance for grainy cinematography, a cast of look alike pasty white guys, and a plot that revolves around the Red Menace.

The story unfolds in 1973 (when the cold war was still hot), a year before John le Carré wrote the novel of the same name. The secret service, and most other institutions on both sides of the pond, were good old boys clubs. Another favorite TTSS moment reveals a wall graffitied with the message, "The Future is Female."

Your enjoyment of this alleged thriller will depend on your tolerance for returning to that past.

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