Saturday, 15 October 2011

Tinker, tailor update

Still reading the book, and getting irate...

The film excised all the women out of it. In the film, you can just about see Smiley's wife, out of focus (I don't think you see her face.) But in the book there are definitely scenes with her talking to Smiley. She's a vital character. And Kathy Burke's character is much older and more knowledgeable in the book. Nor does she say (as in the film) "I'm desperate for a fuck." Totally out of character. And the Russian woman is an agent herself in the book, not just an agent's wife.



  1. Oh, and Benedict Cumberbatch's character is not gay in the book, he has a girlfriend. It seems to have been a conscious decision to diminish all the women in the story. Bizarre.

  2. Did they maybe take characters out to simplify them? Or make a point about the bad old days when women would have been invisible in most work environments?
    And make Benedict gay to add interest?

    I thought not ever seeing Smiley's wife added to the interest, she became more of a mythical character (like Maris in Frasier!).

    See I'm trying to be kind here.

  3. Ye-es... but then it also had the effect of removing women from the story altogether. It seems a book published in the 70s is less sexist and places more importance on its female characters, than a film version made in the 2010s. It makes me feel like we're going backwards, Macy...

  4. And Ricky Tarr has a wife and daughter in the book, who were cut out of the film. He's watched over by a retired woman agent, also removed in the film. Curiouser and curiouser...