My mate Joe Chip says: Don’t pick on Kim Philby!
Your mate was very pleased with the latest fascist propaganda offering, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”. The Soviets in it were all very good and suitably tough, and had to help the Hungarians along. Oh Hungary, if you had only continued down the progressive path, how tough your spies could be now. The scene in the Christmas party when the Soviet anthem begins and santa arrives, that is the model of how all public service Christmas parties should be. Your mate stood and cheered and sang along, and his fellow cinema goers shouted their support.
I won’t spoil anything by giving away who was who, but everyone knows there was a Kim Philby character. Towards the end, there was a suggestion that he was in fact, in cinema parlance, a “bad guy”. Your mate was puzzled. He worked hard, he did what he was told, he made difficult moral choices. Someone suggested to me that the problem was loyalty. Is an employer permitted to purchase loyalty? Even in the perverted system in which we all labour, an employer may only purchase labour. Smiley chose to be loyal, and that was his choice. He also chose to be loyal to an adulterous wife who would occasionally grace him with her presence. That of course was his choice, but movie goers would not have been surprised nor condemned him if he chose not to be loyal to such a person. Similarly, why condemn poor old Mr Philby? OK, dozens of people were killed as a result of his actions, but that is not nice to think about, so we shall ignore it. Other than that, what did he do wrong?
I have no idea why this film was not nominated for an Academy Award for best picture, it was very good, and the acting was very good, and the writing was clever and there were lots of very smart parts to it and there were a lot of bits I liked, and this is why I don’t do movie reviews. 18 stars.
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