BY: SHANE NEWELL
To say “The Fifth Estate” gives audiences the complete story of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange’s life is not accurate. To say the film provides an ample portrait of the controversial figure, however, is more reasonable. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular figure and Daniel Bruhl as Daniel Domscheit-Berg, “The Fifth Estate” is one of this fall’s most intriguing films. Detailing Assange’s rise to fame, the film focuses on the growth of WikiLeaks and the articulation of its mission. While the film does not cover Assange’s entire life, it does provide sufficient description of events like the leak of Afghanistan War documents.
“The Fifth Estate” is intriguing and captivating for many, but the main issue plaguing the film is its assumption that audiences are tuned in to Assange’s work. For most, words like “leak” and people like Bradley Manning are completely foreign. That is not the fault of the film, however.
Instead of winning over audiences, “The Fifth Estate” gets caught up in terminology and details that many people have no prior knowledge about.
The biggest box office bomb of the year, “The Fifth Estate” will likely be relegated to the bottom of the bargain bin once it comes out. It is undeserving of such poor reviews and sales, however, but one cannot predict how Hollywood will fare.