Dreamworks’ The Fifth Estate, a film based on the novel Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website by Daniel Domscheit-Berg, opens today in theaters. This dramatic thriller is based on the real story of WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, and his cohort, Daniel Domscheit-Berg. In an effort to expose fraud, corruption and disinformation by governments and major corporations, Assange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) devises a way to openly unmask the lies and deceptions while protecting those who bring the secrets to light: the whistleblowers. As WikiLeaks popularity grows and more secrets are uncovered for all the world to see, Assange and Berg are given the biggest leak to date; however, foreign relations, sensitive government operations and most importantly, lives are at risk. As Berg and Assange clash over leaking all of the data, the question becomes clear: are certain things best kept secret?
First, let me me start off by sharing with you what I liked about this film. The acting was superb. Cumberbatch, who I’ve recently seen in Stark Trek: Into the Darkness, did an outstanding job portraying Julian Assange that I almost believed he was the real guy. It reminded me of Angela Bassett playing Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It. I had to remind myself that this was the actor, not the actual person. What also impressed me was the imagery in the film. It really gave you a sense of the emotion behind the characters. As Assange is staring out into the bleakness of the Icelandic terrain, you could see how this reflected his mood (and I felt it too).
I found myself experiencing many emotions during the movie, which surprised me: sympathy, anger, confusion, fear, shock and relief. It’s not often a film can make me feel such a wide range of emotions but this one definitely did. The Fifth Estate also makes you think. What would you have done if you were handed the Pandora’s Box of information? Do you believe we have the right to know EVERYTHING or is it alright to be kept in the dark on certain matters?
The only real criticism I have of this movie is that it was a tad confusing at times. There was “tech” and “hacker” jargon that had me scratching my head since those things aren’t my cup of tea. Thank goodness my “techy” husband was with me to explain it. It was also very fast-paced so if you blink, you may miss something. The film didn’t do a great job in explaining who people were or what was going on. I still don’t know who Laura Linney’s character was suppose to be other than she worked for the State Department and said something hilarious about a diplomat (which ended up getting her fired when it was “leaked”).
I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone who’s into drama and “techy” stuff. My husband really did enjoy the movie while I left full of conflicting emotions. Although I agree that corruption and lies should be exposed, I don’t agree that all information needs to be out there for all the world to see. I guess I like my secrets and wouldn’t appreciate it if everyone knew them.
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