The Fifth Estate: Film Review

Whenever we hear the word biopic, we expect a lot. Common human nature. There is always a picture on our minds, we know the events, the characters and finally how things will end up. Same was the case with The Fifth Estate.

Academy award-winner Bill Condon’s movie, The Fifth Estate is an American-thriller based upon the notoriously-famous Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange. Benedict Cumberbatch of Sherlock fame, stars as the Editor-in-Chief and founder of Wikileaks Julian Assange, it also stars Daniel Brühl as Wikileaks’ former spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg.

From the invention of the printing press to the dawn of cyber age, the title sequence starts off quite promisingly. And after that whatever follows can be compared to colossal chaos. There is a lot of typing and coding. A little bit of conversation. And then again, typing and coding. We have already seen a lot of that in movies like David Fincher’s, The Social Network and Hideo Nakata’s, Chatroom, so there is nothing new. What’s definitely noteworthy is Benedict Cumberbatch’s onscreen presence. His husky voice and uncanny mannerism (sometimes creepy) helped the movie a lot. He very subtly played the role of the saint and the sinner at the same time. Daniel Brühl’s look as the German tech-activist, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, was geeky enough to fit in the movie, but there was something melancholic in his character which lingered on till the end.

In between all the chaos, the film offers the audience with occasional surreal perspective of some kind of office, with rows of empty desks and the usual sound of furious typing in the background. In one scene, we see thousands of Assanges (Benedict Cumberbatch) smiling (or was it a smirk?) hauntingly at us.

People who are familiar with the "History of Wikileaks" will not find the movie very appealing. There are lot of things happening, in different places, but not exactly leading anywhere. Typing and coding. Cut. You are in Kenya. Typing and Coding. Cut. You are in Stockholm… New York.. London… and it goes on and on.

If you are die-hard fan of Sherlock (TV-series starring Benedict Cumberbatch) and if you think you can spare 128-minutes of your life just to watch a few guys extremely lost trying to figure out codes, and later one of them frustratingly smashing imaginary tables and chairs, please don’t miss this one.

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