Cumberbatch Wows the Audience in The Fifth Estate

Dylan Rupptrecht

The Fifth Estate is the story about WikiLeaks, the anonymous, non-edited whistle-blower website that allows people to share a conspiracy they have witnessed with the security of having their anonymity retained.

AP Photo
AP Photo

Benedict Cumberbatch, who seems to be on the rise since playing Sherlock Holmes in the hit show Sherlock, gives a diverse performance playing the CEO and founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, sporting an impressive Australian accent.

Putting aside the initial distraction of Cumberbach’s blazing, bleach blonde hair, his performance as Assange immediately wins the audience, while giving a speech on his new whistle-blower website at a convention in Europe. It is here he meets top class hacker, Daniel Berg, and the two quickly set out to change news media entirely. What initially starts as an uphill start to WikiLeaks soon gains some traction as more and more people start confessing the conspiracies that riddle the world. Power-crazy and egotistical Assange soon gets carried away when a U.S soldier leaks the entire military database, which becomes a public outrage.

Within the jumbled mess of vast amounts of information being thrown at you in small time quantities, are some sparkling moments.

The director, Bill Condon, uses the technological elements that are innate in the WikiLeaks story to his advantage. Condon implements some nifty newsfeeds that help keep you in the now of the fast paced movie and also establishes an interesting portrayal of the cyber world. With saying that, the ever-changing setting, and sometimes confusing, buildup detracts from this movie.

Cumberbatch really is the silver lining to this movie in most respects. He has a voice that automatically catches your undivided attention, and coupled with the Australian accent he has implemented, it’s difficult not to be interested in what he has to say. Ultimately, without Cumberbatch, I wouldn’t say that this movie is great by any stretch of the word. Still, it is a good film if you want to get an interesting look at a true, gripping story.