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The story begins as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) team up to become underground watchdogs of the privileged and powerful. On a shoestring, they create a platform that allows whistle-blowers to anonymously leak covert data, shining a light on the dark recesses of government secrets and corporate crimes. Soon, they are breaking more hard news than the world's most legendary media organizations combined. But when Assange and Berg gain access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in U.S. history, they battle each other and a defining question of our time: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society-and what are the costs of exposing them? Written by
As I walked into the theater with my wife, she asked me again what this film was about. I said, its about Wikileaks. I told her about Assange and the mission of Wikileaks. I had already had my own formed opinions about Assange, but refrained from sharing it with her. I was curious to see what her reaction was and what her opinion of Wikileaks and Assange was after the film.
The film was not bad. It was sort of an attempt to make a Facebook style film about Wikileaks and although it nowhere measured up to the quality of "Social Network." Its attempt was commendable and all-in-all, it was not a waste of the 18 Euros we spent to see it.
However, what really bothered me throughout the entire film was Cumberbatch's portrayal of Assange. I could see he was trying very hard to mimic Assange to the best of his ability, but I either don't think he had it in him or he was purposely playing Assange a lot crazier than he appears in real life. I have seen lots of interviews with Assange, who in my mind, comes across a bit like a mixture between a politician and professor. Cumberbatch, on the other hand, came across as a sort of eccentric nut.
The next thing that bothered me is where the film decided to stop. Basically, it skimmed over the current scandals, making Assange sound like more of nut than Cumberbatch's portrayal. The last five minutes especially sunk into me the feeling that the film unfairly portrayed Assange.
And my suspicions were confirmed. I asked my wife what her opinion of Assange was as a good or bad guy, and she seemed to indicate she was leaning towards bad. The last few minutes of the film, basically sunk that message in loud and clear.
My conclusion is, that, this film is a good example of the new way of being critical. Pretend to be fair and at the last minute, throw up a bunch of negative facts.
I believe that combining the positive portrayal of the U.S. state department with the crazy portrayal of Assange, was neither fair nor accurate. History will probably judge this film as just another propaganda piece of the corrupt powers that be.
If I were to write this film, I think it would have been much more interesting to concentrate on the incidents of human rights abuses rather than on the Assange himself. It would have also had the positive effect of encouraging, rather than discouraging whistle-blowers. This film does not seem to inspire anything.
Assange was right about the film.
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