The film is ferociously complicated: it's not cut in the modern speed-freak style, but if people are crinkling a candy-bag behind you you may miss what a character hears on a tinny tape; blink and you may miss some important context. It's a test of an audience's capacity to absorb information, which I suppose is a result of cutting down a complicated work but also involves the theme: in their way the operatives are heroic distillers of information, who see and pay attention in a way that normal individuals cannot, and at the same time are necessarily stunted in their relationships. Are you up to their abilities? Do you want to be? It was probably a half-hour before I figured what the scenes were supposed to be adding up to, and the various flashbacks and changes of environment made me think of the chronological mayhem of Bad Timing. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is better than that, go see it.
I've pointed to this interview before, but it's well worth it:
In the summer of 2010, Writers and Company host Eleanor Wachtel went to see John le Carré at his home outside of Penzance in Cornwall, England. [...] The interview with Mr. Le Carré won a Silver Medal at the New York Festivals.It's not about the movie, it's about John le Carré, his work, and his art and what is in it that might be called true.