The more I
obsess think about this film, the more I am tempted to get all fannish about it. I haven’t made a proper fanvid in ages (probably since I started writing the novel), but this film wouldn’t leave me alone, and now I’ve started to read the book, I find myself thinking even more deeply. And something has occurred to me. I will add a caveat at this point that I haven’t yet finished reading the book, and this opinion might well change when I have!
The ending scenes of the 2011 adaptation of Tinker Tailor, Soldier, Spy stayed with me long after the credits rolled. So much so that I’ve made a vidlet of part of it. But the thing that occurred to me, as I pondered the scenes, in particular those scenes with Mark Strong and Colin Firth, was the nature of Jim Prideaux’s motive for murdering Bill Haydon. In the preceding scene, Haydon is unburdening himself about playing double agent to George Smiley. He cites aesthetic reasons ‘the west is just so ugly’. It’s clear though, that he won’t be seeing any of the picturesque sights of Moscow, and will end up in a gulag somewhere, probably never to be released. Haydon orchestrated the setup of the mission where Jim Prideaux is shot, which gives Prideaux one hell of a revenge motive. So was his shooting of Haydon purely out of a need for retribution, or was it something more? Haydon also admits during this conversation that Prideaux came to warn him the night before Haydon was uncovered as the double agent. This begs the question why Prideaux didn’t just shoot Haydon there and then, if his motive was purely revenge. Why wait until the man’s been detained?
Prideaux, presumably, knows that Haydon’s life is effectively over once he’s deported. Is his shooting of the man he loves, his other half, an act of mercy rather than revenge? Haydon spots Prideaux as he’s walking towards the compound, and he nods, almost imperceptibly. Before he pulls the trigger, Prideaux hesitates, and the two make eye contact. Visually, the teardrop bullet wound may signify that recognition; that Prideaux is putting Haydon out of future misery. After all, even if Prideaux himself defected to Russia, they still wouldn’t ever be together. Prideaux’s own tears after the gunshot might also hint at this.
With this in mind, I made a really cheesy vidlet. I make no apology for this; the Prideaux/Haydon pairing calls for a bit of fluffiness to temper the total and utter angst that it stirs up. I don’t have it in me to vid the whole song, and I’m very rusty in terms of vidding anyway, but here’s 28 seconds of Haydeaux combined with 1980s girl hair band Heart. Mark Strong’s achingly soulful eyes made me do it.
Of course, there are far more beautiful examples of fanvids for this film out there, and I will be doing another blog post that explores and analyses some of my favourites in the next few days. But for now, I’m just wallowing in the angst of the Haydon/Prideaux pairing!