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Film:
  Enigma  
 
Studio:
  Intermedia  
 
Director:
  Michael Apted  
 
Screenplay:
  Tom Stoppard based on the book by Robert Harris  
 
Voices:
  Dougray Scott, Kate Winslet, Jeremy Northram, Saffron Burrows  
 
Release Date:
  2001  
 
Reviewed by:
  Squid  
         
 
Rating:
   
         
 
Review:
 

 

 
 
Squid:
 

The British WWII intelligence and codebreaking efforts housed at Bletchley Park outside of London is the setting for a disappearance/murder mystery. The Nazi military were using sophisticated machines, code-named Enigma, to send messages to troops in the field and especially to ships and U-boats at sea. In Bletchley Park were assembled some of the finest mathematical geniuses of the day devoted to breaking the Enigma code. When the code was broken, the Allies had a huge advantage over the Nazis, especially considering that the Nazis still considered the code unbroken.

Okay, some plot. Set against the above background, Dougray Scott plays Tom Jericho, a talented mathematician called to Bletchley Park. He helped break Shark, an Enigma refinement. He falls for Claire (played by Saffron Burrows), an attractive classifier and interceptor of Nazi messages, who also works at Bletchley Park. Tom goes off the deep end when Claire dumps him, and is sent back to Cambridge to recuperate. As the movie opens, he is being called back to Bletchley Park because the Nazis have changed the Shark code. However, Tomís recall is done over the objections of some of the supervisors. When Tom arrives, he finds that Claire has gone missing. He enlists the help of Hester (Kate Winslet), Claireís roommate and fellow classifier/interceptor, and the two begin to do some amateur sleuthing to find Claire. Meanwhile, a secret service investigator begins asking Tom uncomfortable questions about the possibility of Tom being an enemy agent, or possibly knowing one.

It really winds up being a movie that respects the ability of the audience to follow a plot and gives them good acting performances to watch while it does so. Itís not your typical war movie with huge gasoline explosions, heroic speeches, and hopeless romances. Itís good war/spy/intrigue, and not a little bit of mathematics and extreme cleverness thrown in for good measure. Hereís an analogy. Equations : Squid's taste in movies :: Guitar distortion : PostLibyan's taste in music. You can never really have enough, but even a little bit can really improve the overall effect.

This movie is in pretty limited release, considering that here in Atlanta weíre just getting it and (as indicated above) itís a 2001 release. I donít think it would lose much on the small screen, but if you are lucky enough to know someone with a good-sized television, or better yet someone who lives in an apartment complex with a clubhouse that has a big projection television set and theater-style seats, Iíd recommend seeing it there.

 
         
 
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