Chan-wook’s avant-garde lexicon for the espionage thriller is much more personal to ever come across the screen.
Chan-wook’s avant-garde lexicon for the espionage thriller is much more personal to ever come across the screen. Often or not, such a genre ultimately gets culminated into a more general purpose or agenda that they thrive upon. But John Le Carre, whose book from which it is adapted, is self-obsessed with its characters too much to lose their touch. And from those characters’ perspective and equation among them, a non-provocative message is weaved out from it. But this is Le Carre’s doing, the screenplay by Lesslie and Wilson fumbles a lot before reaching the point. In fact in its initial stage it is gripping and compelling that holds you on the edge of your seat.
But its second act is a bit dodgy, reliable upon sloppy ineffective close calls, it shucks away the earned integrity by the series up till then. And with a final bang, it chooses to fiddle with your emotions, it doesn’t have a smart ending, but it surely is justified. Chan-wook’s execution is admirable and show a lot of potential. The adapted structure of the script is your basic series follow up, there is groundbreaking is writing or execution. Pugh, on the lead role is at times convincing and at times unreliable, she isn’t consistently convincing which puts the series in a very tight spot considering she has to drive it.
Skarsgard as his supporter and arguable on a parallel role, is convincing and aptly reserved yet expressive enough to speak through his portrayal. Shannon oozes power in his supporting role over the others and is kept under the shades for the most part of it. The Little Drummer Girl is a passive adaptation, it is part people pleaser, part honestly unfiltered, and within that balanced tone, it is blatantly above mediocrity.