The Fifth Estate (2013)

The Fifth Estate
Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Josh Singer
Based on: Daniel Domscheit-Berg‘s book and David Leigh and Luke Harding‘s book
Cast: Daniel Brühl, Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Capaldi, David Thewlis, Dan Stevens, Alicia Vikander, Michael Culkin, Moritz Bleibtreu, Carice van Houten, Laura Linney, Anthony Mackie, Stanley Tucci, Alexander Siddig

When Daniel (Daniel Brühl) meets Julian (Benedict Cumberbatch) he is more than excited: Daniel has been keeping track of Julian’s hacking work and the WikiLeaks site he instated: a perfectly anonymous option for whistleblowers. Daniel wants to work with Julian and Julian lets him in, reluctantly at first. But soon their project gets bigger than they ever expected.

The Fifth Estate was an entertaining movie with a few lenghts and a disturbing subtitle-phobia. The cast was absolutely awesome, though.


I don’t know what the film’s problem was with subtitles. They mostly had the cast with the right nationalities. It would have been no problem for Daniel Brühl to speak German, for example. But the movie insisted on having everybody speak English which led to absurd situations like Daniel being home with his parents and everybody talking in (accented) English. Just don’t, ok? Or, if you wanna pretend that it’s dubbed, at least don’t give people an accent, mmkay? It’s just annoying. Also, if Rush can do it right, so can you.

Especially if you barely could have put together a nicer international cast. Daniel Brühl usually is, of course, as well as Benedict Cumberbatch and both shine very much here. But it’s actually amazing how many people they have popping up in sideplot. Carice van Houten, Moritz Bleibtreu, Alicia Vikander… and I really want my own spin-off with Laura Linney and Stanley Tucci in the White House. Or Dan Stevens and David Thewlis as journalists. Pretty please?


But the lack of subtitles wasn’t the movie’s only problem. Its biggest problem was Julian Assange. I can imagine that he actually is the way they showed him here, but that’s not really a good thing. In this film he’s an asshole, whe he does show a personality at all. He’s self-absorbed, egomaniacal, stubborn and arrogant. And in this film people flock around him and stick with him and you’re never really sure why they do. Plus, it gets annoying to watch.

Daniel gives you an emotional center to cling to and a perspective to relate to but that they left Julian such an asshole that he becomes practically incomprehensible as a character really doesn’t help to make the film more entertaining.


Summarizing: It’s alright but it could and should have been better.

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