How about as an information war.
WikiLeaks triggered our age of high stakes secrecy and explosive news leaks. Now director Bill (‘The Twilight Saga’ and ‘Dreamgirls’) Condon’s new docudrama reveals the deceptions and corruptions of power which turned an internet upstart into the 21st century’s most debated dispenser of classified corporate and U.S. Government information.
Here Benedict Cumberbatch – as creepy WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange – along with Daniel Bruehl as Daniel Domscheit-Berg team to become the world’s classified underground watchdogs. A high stakes relationship of intelligence providers. Whistle blowers on a shoestring.
“Two freaks with a single server…”
In a conflicting relationship that would ultimately strain their clandestine and push their probing exposes to the limit.
While the subject here seems like it’s almost torn from today’s headlines, the on-screen presentation comes across more like stylistic head games and citizen journalism of massive coverups being practiced by Assange and Berg with key media outlets including Britain’s THE GUARDIAN, Germany’s DER SPIEGEL and THE NEW YORK TIMES as the beneficiaries.
Assange practices collateral journalistic murder while being targeted throughout the capitals of Europe and Asia.
“Young Woodwards and Bernsteins?”
If all that sounds intriguing and fascinating, the film’s high speed and computer-like presentation may leave many an audience member feeling cold and disconnected, thus making it a geeky cyber thriller of diplomatic nightmarish proportions.
Adding the American touch to the proceedings are Stanley Tucci and Laura Linney as high ranking State Department types whose lives are made miserable by Assange.
The question the film seems to try to answer: “What are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society? And what are the costs of exposing them?”
Does the movie succeed? You be the judge.
THE FIFTH ESTATE garnering a C grade.
(Reviewed at AMC’s Town Center, Leawood)
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