The Fifth Estate premieres in theatres today and if you like a drama based upon real events that will give you great cause to think then this is a movie for you. I had the honor of attending a premiere of the movie before opening day.
The Fifth Estate is a modern day combination of The Hunt for Red October and The Matrix, without the cool fighting sequences. The wealth of information online ripe for hackers and frequency of misinformation is perfectly timed and shows the creation of WikiLeaks.
While the movie seems to start slow, the speed at which information is released and real time events come in play from history can be mind boggling as we are taken through a quick snapshot of monumental moments in last few years.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays Julian Assange, the creator of WikiLeaks, and is responsible for the hundreds of volunteers it takes to run the organization where people can anonymously leak documents for the public to read and interpret themselves. His white hair is a startling contrast with his piercing blue-green eyes but portrays the mental status of his character extremely well as we discover the reason why his hair turned white.
Daniel Brühl plays Daniel Berg, who Julian recruits to help him expand the reach of WikiLeaks. Daniel follows Julian without question as they become a huge news force to contend with until dramatic events change everything and leaves Daniel questioning the very existence of WikiLeaks and their mission.
When the fate of highly sensitive information lies in their hands, Daniel and Julian are at odds over how to proceed. Publishing the cables means exposing CIA operatives identities and addresses yet editing the document in any shape does not fit with their agreed purpose of WikiLeaks. Where your values lie is where the decision is made.
Stanley Tucci and Laura Linney were a wonderful addition to the cast. Linney’s portrayal of Sarah Shaw is hilarious in her reactions to WikiLieaks and she is a great reminder that what is on the web is always on the web. Be sure to pay attention to whose name she signed in one of her emails. It was the best line of the movie!
As a member of The Fifth Estate, the movie leaves me with more questions than answers and is one that would provide for a great political debate about social responsibility and the desire for the public to know the truth even where there is great risk involved when exposing the truth.
[quote]A dramatic thriller based on real events, “The Fifth Estate” reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century’s most fiercely debated organization.[/quote]
[quote]The Fifth Estate refers to citizen journalism. “Fifth Estate” is used to describe media outlets (including the blogosphere) that see themselves in opposition to mainstream media (the official press), any class or group in society other than the clergy (First Estate), the nobility (Second Estate), the commoners (Third Estate) and the press (Fourth Estate). It has been used to describe civil society, the poor or the proletariat.[/quote]
I received tickets to attend a premiere of The Fifth Estate before opening day in order to facilitate this movie review.