The Fifth Estate Review
By Molly Silverman
The Fifth Estate follows the story of Wikileaks, which was created by Julian Assange. The movie is based on the book, Inside Wikileaks: My Time with Julian Assange and the World’s Most Dangerous Website, written by Assange’s former main correspondent, Daniel Domscheit-Berg and some other personal accounts. Some quick background: the real Julian Assange emailed Benedict Cumberbatch asking him to not participate in the movie and he also leaked the script of the film in September.(imdb.com). So obviously, the man the story is about was not very thrilled with the film. However, I don’t quite agree with Mr. Assange.
There were quite a few pros with this film. First off, I got to see it early, which was a very exciting experience! Well, aside from that, Benedict Cumberbatch was phenomenal playing Assange. Not only did he look a great deal like him, but Cumberbatch is so versatile that there was no trace of Britain in the Australian accent he used in the movie. He was quite believable and that is what made the movie. I feel as if he did the best job portraying Assange. But let’s not just brag about Benedict, because Daniel Bruhl held his own as well! Honestly, all of the acting was high quality, as was the cinematography. There were some great visual metaphors the director incorporated into the movie. Also, the camera angles held up were artistically done to show a character’s mind set at a certain point in time. The usage of a camera speed around a man on the computer indicates how into his work being done. That was quite amazing.
Even though there were many good things about the movie, I do understand why Assange did not like the movie and why he leaked the script. Most of the script was pretty well written, but there were some parts of the movie that was quite cheesy. I understand that it was a movie that involved a great deal of computers, but sometimes I felt as if I was watching a computer movie from the ’80s. I feel like that really took away from the movie because I was expecting it to be more modern with the technology. They also did not really get too into Assange’s personal life, but what they mentioned was very interesting and I wanted it incorporated in the story line more! It was mentioned that he was in a cult and that is something I would have wished would have been explained more!
All in all, I give this movie a B-. It was pretty good but not 100 percent the best movie I’ve ever seen.