As someone who is following the history of Wikileaks pretty closely, I was quite excited to see a biopic about it’s founder, Julian Assange, directed by Bill Condon. The result is a mixed bag that didn’t quite sit well with me at all. It is almost like the creators couldn’t quite settle on how they wanted to portray these events. The first half of the movie portrays Assange as an underdog hero. The second half of the film suddenly makes him out to be the enemy. The scandal involving his sexual assault charges is ignored altogether until the credits.
Bill Condon, who is fresh off of directing the last two Twilight movies, directs a screenplay from Josh Singer. His direction is very effective at creating a sort of tense spy thriller. The screenplay is what sort of held this film back from greatness for me.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays Assange, is does a fine job at mimicking his mannerisms and speech. Daniel Bruhl plays his sort of first in command, who follows him almost blindly in to the eyes of some of the most powerful governments in the world. These two pretty much disappear in to their respective roles.
“The Fifth Estates” isn’t so much a bad movie as it is a misguided one. I think Julian Assange is a fascinating character to base a movie around. Perhaps they could of benefited more from his actual input.