Fittingly, even for a story as densely plotted as this, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a film about looking.  Director Tomas Alfredson puts this front and center with Smiley’s visit to the optician for new frames and the way that the viewer is invited, just like Connie Sachs, to interrogate the frame (the beginning of ‘the fall’, and the start of the next Le Carre tale, can be found in a missing tie).  It’s also in Bill Roach, ‘best watcher in the unit’, mirrored looks across an office party and through a wire fence and Smiley’s inability to see the mole.  The classic BBC TV series might be more faithful but the film, with it’s emphasis on the visual, is a much better telling of this gripping tale.

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