Cinema: Marching to a Muffled Beat

THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL Directed by George Roy Hill Screenplay by Loring Mandel

The trouble with John le Carré's 1983 novel, The Little Drummer Girl, was that it required more than 400 pages of densely detailed writing to lend credence to an improbable plot that a writer less impressed by his own critical repute might have skipped through in about half that length. The trouble with the movie version of this tale is that it is entirely, and rather glumly, preoccupied with that labyrinthine plot. There is no time left in the film for those observations about character, setting and political background...

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