I am a little late, I realise that.
The book has been about since 1974, the TV adaptation was made in 1979, and last year the inevitable movie was released.
I would like to say it was so I could review them altogether; that would be a fib. Truth is, I have only just finished reading the book.
Last year I brought the TV adaptation for the bargain price of £5. Boy, was that amazing value for money. For hours I sat riveted, slowly falling in love with George Smiley, played beautifully by Sir Alec Guinness. Even though the pace was slow, my attention was fixed on the superb characterisation (apart from when I tried to watch an episode too late at night and feel asleep on the sofa… drool) and subtlety so often lacking in more recent dramas.
After seeing this, I had to read the book!
The book is a great read. I could hardly put it down, although I knew largely how it would pan out from the TV drama. The drama fit so closely to the book that it was like watching it again.
As I neared the end of the book, the film was released on DVD. I rushed out to buy it.
Funnily enough, I was disappointed. Maybe, if I hadn’t been halfway through the book or fallen in love with Sir Alec Guinness’ performance of George Smiley, I would have thought it was better than sliced bread. Few things are better than sliced bread. Don’t get me wrong, the performances were great. The actors well cast, script well written, and shot fantastically.
But for me the plot was too chopped up, and there were some sequences of violence that were merely hinted at in the book and TV adaptation, in my mind making them even more chilling (I have an active imagination). Could it be that there just wasn’t enough time to let the story unfold? This is usually the problem with films based on books. Got to squash it all into 2 – 2.5 hours.
I will give it a few months and come back to the film.
I don’t think I gave it a fair go.
I need to see it with an open mind. Mine is clouded by the book and TV drama, and so I don’t feel I can be totally objective.