Top positive review
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Finely crafted cinema, superb acting, excellent screenplay
on October 31, 2016
I have now seen this film for the third time. Every time I see it, I appreciate it on a higher level.
The primary thing that struck me on this viewing was how well the screenwriters and director captured the flavor of a John le Carré novel. Le Carré is not casual reading. Any devotee will tell you that the reader must concentrate fully and that a casual phrase in a sentence can be important to comprehending a complex detail in the plot's development.
Likewise, this film is demanding, requiring the the viewer's complete focus. The elegant way in which the story line is developed and the film is edited, involves frequent shifts of foreshadowing and flashback, much the way a Le Carré narrative is structured. This challenges the viewer to stay engaged. But on repeated viewing, one begins to follow the internal logic of film's construction and then other distinctive features come into focus, such as the outstanding filmography, superb acting, and the wonderfully atmospheric score by Alberto Iglesias.
An additional word about the screenplay. No two-hour film can capture the breadth and fine detail of a Le Carré novel. The writers of this film had a huge challenge to adapt the author's rich prose, complex plot and Dickensian characterizations for cinema. Their objective could only be to retain the essence of the book's story line within the context of its philosophical themes. This they have accomplished artfully. Together with the fine casting and acting throughout, I believe this film will eventually be recognized as the most successful adaptation of a Le Carré novel.