Earlier today I had the pleasure of, finally, watching the movie The Fifth Estate. I was nervous about watching simply because I have not heard really good things about this film, apart from the acting of one Benedict Cumberbatch. While watching this film I realized that there was no reason at all to be worried about it. I am only somewhat familiar with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, but I did do a bit of research prior to watching this film just so that I understood what the story was going to be about.
I really enjoyed the splicing of different media stories both at the beginning of the film and throughout; apparently the footage at the beginning took over a year to put together. I think overall the film had the feel of a media exposé, particularly when they end up sitting on the biggest leak in history. This part was particularly interesting because it allows the viewer to really have a glimpse at both sides of the argument on a grand scale. Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) at this point is on the precipice of actually going against what he originally set out to do, by also trying to publish all information without hiding anything, something else that he had vowed to do.
Watching this film I felt that all of the actors and actresses did great jobs, most notably Daniel Brühl (who plays Danile Domscheit-Berg) and Benedict Cumberbatch (of course). Their performances were at their peaks when they have the biggest leak in history, starting from when they are watching the video. Then all of the military documents and cables and whatnot come in, after which everything begins to explode.
In addition, I enjoyed watching Assange’s speeches—I assume they are not word for word what might have been said, but the spirit is clearly still there. Cumberbatch brings forward Assange’s eloquence, and the words provide us with many interesting sound-bytes and quotations.
I have heard Australian accents quite a bit in my life, I have family who live there, and thus I am relatively familiar with it. I have also listened to clips of Julian himself speaking as I know that individual accents can differ from each other even if they are from the same country. It isn’t perfect by any means, although I do think that Cumberbatch did a pretty good job considering he isn’t from Australia. I assume that he had a dialect coach of some sort, so I have to give credit to whoever that was as well.
Overall I think that The Fifth Estate is a good film and I would recommend that you watch it. It isn’t for everyone, but if you are interested in media then I do think you will enjoy it (also if you are a fan of Benedict).