Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is a film that I have been looking forward to seeing ever since I found out that my favorite British actor was working on it. Excited as always by the thought of seeing him on the big screen, I did a little digging on it and discovered that the subject of the film also really intrigued me. Simply put, the story follows an MI-6 agent coming out of retirement to find a mole in the organization.
I have been waiting months for this film to open in U.S. theaters. There was word of a release date in November and then in August I got the news that the U.S. opening had been pushed back to December 9th in order to try and create more Oscar buzz. Not a problem. Or I at least I thought it wouldn’t be a problem. That is until I came across the post in my Tumblr feed that changed everything. It wasn’t a complete review of the film, but it did give away enough information that I’m pretty sure I know who the traitor is.
My slight annoyance at a possibly huge plot point reveal got me thinking. The invention of the Internet has made the world seem a lot smaller. It is no longer a big expense or pain to talk and communicate with someone who lives in another country. People are able to form connections with one another over common interests that could never have been made before and they do it all the time.
But, with all of this connection to people around the world, it sometimes blinds you to the fact that the people you communicate with are thousands of miles away. Not everyone has the exact same experiences at the same time. And as such, keeping things like movie plots under wraps for long periods at a time becomes very difficult.
It is no longer sufficient to just stay away from the movie reviews in the foreign posts. In order to truly remain unspoiled you have to stay away from Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and anywhere you possibly have a connection with someone who could have seen these movies, television programs, etc., before you. Is it possible for someone to be a part of these larger communities online and still remain unspoiled for television and films that have yet to be released in their country? Or is it more realistic to assume that the Internet being an international gathering of people does not allow for such secrecy?
I don’t necessarily think that we have to accept that by being online all matter of surprise and secrecy is taken away from us. But, I do believe that we need to be more vigilant in our own pursuits of keeping spoilers under wraps and avoiding those that aren’t (providing you don’t want to know).
I guess the main point here is that we live in a technologically connected world and spoilers for films, television shows and even live events are bound to appear no matter what you do. You can use as much technology to try and save yourself (such as Tumblr Savior, an extension that helps to hide posts you don’t want) as you like, but we are all human and we always feel the need to share secrets. Perhaps we all should just accept that secret plot points in movies, television, etc., are only safe for so long and move on. Or maybe, just maybe, we could attempt to not share those secrets. But, that’s asking quite a lot.
(The photo from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is for promotional purposes and so may be used here according to Fair Use guidelines. To see a trailer from the film, please check below.)