THE FIFTH ESTATE DVD (2013)
SYNOPSIS: Based on true events, this fast-paced global thriller takes you behind the shocking headlines. It reveals the mission of WikiLeaks' rebel founder to expose fraud and corruption to the world. With an all-star cast including Laura Linney and Stanley Tucci and complete with exclusive never-before-seen bonus material- The Fifth Estate is a riveting story of intrigue and espionage.
When anyone mentioned confidential news leaks, a certain Edward Snowden comes to mind. Before Snowden, there’s of course Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks who is now granted political asylum by Ecuador.
The Fifth Estate based on "WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange and the World's Most Dangerous Website" by Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Assange’s former associate) and "WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange's War on Secrecy" is generally a fleeting account of both Assange and Berg. The narrative hardly paints a definitive picture of WikiLeaks let alone it’s charismatic, cocky founder, Julian Assange.
Writer Josh Singer (The West Wing, Fringe) attempts to delve into the conflicting nature of the website and the beliefs of Assange. In the end, it throws up more questions than answers perhaps only intermittently brought up some thoughtful questions: what are the costs of exposing top secrets as opposed to keeping them? For example, do we honestly need to know innocent civilians are killed in the course of war?
There’s no doubt that Director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, The Twilight Saga) is at a loss with the flimsy material on hand. Condon tried hard to make the subject matter thrilling and interesting by constantly jumping between countries and states to applying quick cuts to the government officials at the White House and even a Libyan informant. Ultimately, failed to impress one that this is a race against time international thriller.
Fortunately, Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness) and Daniel Bruhl (Rush) are excellent as Assange and Daniel Domscheit-Berg. Their chemistry is the sole factor that keeps this drama alive for the two hours running time. Other familiar faces include David Thewlis as an old-school reporter with The Guardian while Laura Linney, Stanley Tucci and Anthony Mackie appear in forgettable small roles.
Neither gripping nor riveting as a conspiracy thriller (with Assange publicly renounced the movie’s accuracy), The Fifth Estate is worth only a single viewing partly because of Cumberbatch’s performance. Don’t be surprised if Oliver Stone approach him to play Edward Snowden.
The Submission Platform is a 10 minutes segment that talks about the visual development of the online platform.
A Trailer and TV Spots round up the extras.
Dialogue and ambient effects are clear and engaging. The visual presentation are generally free of visible defects.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee