I didn't know much about the source material going into this one like how friggin expansive it supposedly is. Expansive enough to be a mini series, at least. The film certainly seems to try to cover as much material as possible too. You have to prepared to take in a lot of information and make a lot of inferences. Scenes are short, edited on top of each other, and often include cuts to small moments. It's storytelling at it's least verbal. Paradoxically, there's also a lot of talking, people speaking over scenes. Now that I think about it, the sensation of watching it is a lot like Primer. Reminiscent, at least. Visually, the film is great to look at. Not only costuming but just the entire style. It's sparse but attractive. At times, visually a little surreal. If anything, like any story told in this fast-paced style, it doesn't exactly get you on any emotional level. And since I felt like I was playing catch-up throughout, I don't think I ever really connected with the film. I just really enjoyed watching it and being in that world. Acting helps incredibly, too. Especially Toby Jones, who does a lot with less screen time. There's just some terrific faces made in the movie! Any Cumberbatch fans will be pleased with the film, he's got some fine chunks in the film. And a really nice tie. I have to say though, there are one or two reference to characters being homosexual in the film, which is just starting to feel slightly cliched. At least, I'm at the point where if I'm watching a period piece with Man's men, I feel like it's expected that at least one of them is gay. I dunno. So anyway, definitely scratches the heady spy itch you might have and a delight to watch!
Where's a Handsome Spy when you need one?