The Fifth Estate (2013)

IMDB plot:

A dramatic thriller based on real events that 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.

Some spoilers that should never be disclosed to the public may be disclosed.

This is not a movie based on a book. This is a movie based on TWO books — or so it says in the opening credits.

The movie follows the story of Julian Assange, from the time WikiLeaks was basically unknown to the point it got so famous, he had to hide in Equatorian embassy in London.

The whole thing is not Julian telling of his story, it’s mostly about how Daniel Berg/Daniel Bomscheit-Berg saw WikiLeaks rise to notoriety after he joined it. Also, the movie is not about WikiLeaks, but about Assange himself. Because Assange and WikiLeaks are so tied together, to tell the story of one, you basically tell the story of the other.

Reviewing the plot is too damn hard. First, because the story of WikiLeaks is a public one and second because, since it focus on Assange, it makes hard to say anything that won’t spoil everything. But still: In the very beginning, WikiLeaks disclosed documents about corruption in some African countries, then showing neo-nazis in one of England political parties, then exposed a large German bank, then displaying the murder of some Reuters reporters by the American military, which came with the cable communications which finally put the website in the spotlight of journalistic stage[1]. In all those “stepping stones”, the movie shows Assange reactions: How his platform for anonymous disclosure worked, how he managed to convince whistleblowers to publish the information they had in the site, how he dealt with the classic journalism and his ideals for the disclosing information. But to sum it, it shows Assange worried much more about the “ideals” of the WikiLeaks than the persons involved in it. IN a way, it shows that he was right, there shouldn’t be a distinction between disclosing information about neo-nazis in the government and the names of informants in Afghanistan; in the other, it shows that he was wrong, putting the very lifes of those informants in danger.

Yes, it’s not a faltering picture of Assange, but I guess moviemakers love this kind of stuff to paint their subjects more “human”. There is also the way the movie portraits the software part. As usual, it’s gibberish. It offends anyone that knows a thing or two about computers, which is basically the majority of people that followed these events unfolding — which is basically anyone capable of using the internet. But hey, better look cool than looking correct, right?

It is hard to describe acting. Benedict Cumberbatch, to me, is a “one trick pony” and seems to always act the same way. Surely, it may fit real Assange but still… Daniel Brühl, on the other hand, really seems like a real person.

I give it 7 out of 8 cables for it.

[1] Or, at least, that’s the way the movie tells the story.