Friday, January 13, 2012

"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"

This latest “spy” film is not living up to a lot of people’s expectations. That is likely because it is a more realistic portrayal of what the intelligence warfare was like during the cold war, and nothing like the fantastic superhero spy fiction to which audiences have become accustomed.

The way that the film tells the story can also be a frustration for today’s audiences. It does not spoon feed the plot to us, but requires active participation from the audience. The story is not just a mystery, but is presented in mysterious ways. If we are to follow what is happening, we need to connect the facts for ourselves. It is a thinking person’s film, and people don’t generally go to the theater to think these days.

Who is this film far, then? Aside from thinkers, it is an interesting story for people who lived through the days of the Cold War. It is entertaining for people who have a knowledge or interest in recent European history or European geography. Budapest, Istanbul, Paris and London are featured as the must have been during the late sixties and early seventies. It is also good for people who like to ask themselves if they are right in their stance. Don’t bother watching this film if you like to have blinders on or if you prefer to blindly follow your political presuppositions.

Because that is the danger in this story. It will not tell you that you were or are wrong to side with either side of the conflict. It will cause you to ask just how justified that conflict was. The world was divided into two very different ideologies during the Cold War, but did they have to maintain a tense stalemate rather than simply coexist until the one proved to be too flawed to persist? Even worse, did the mechanisms of that conflict—the spies, the intrigue, and misinformation—exacerbate the threat?

If that is the case, what does that say to the current world situation? Are our current tactics making us safer in the face of a terrorist threat, or simply making the whole situation worse?

1 comment:

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