Monday, May 19, 2014

Enigma (2001)

Director: Michael Apted

Writers: Robert Harris, Tom Stoppard

Composer: John Barry

Starring: Dougray Scott, Kate Winslet, Saffron Burrows, Jeremy Northam, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Tom Hollander, Donald Sumpter, Matthew Macfadyen, Richard Leaf, Ian Felce, Bohdan Poraj, Paul Rattray

More info: IMDb

Tagline: 10,000,000,000,000,000+ combinations - 24 hours to get it right

Plot: During the heart of World War II, in March of 1943, cryptoanalysts at Britain's code-breaking center have discovered to their horror that Nazi U-boats have changed their Enigma Code. Authorities enlist the help of a brilliant young man named Tom Jericho to help them break the code again. The possibility of a spy within the British code-breakers' ranks looms and Tom's love, Claire, has disappeared. To solve the mysteries, Tom recruits Claire's best friend, Hester Wallace. In investigating Claire's personal life, the pair discovers personal and international betrayals.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

What a jumbled mess.  Even the poster and trailer are poorly done.  So sad.  The script focuses far too much on lost love, giving this picture too much to do and too much distraction.  The story of breaking the Enigma code is fascinating and intriguing enough without having to be bogged down with Thomas Jericho (Scott) pining away for Claire (Burrows) who left him for another man.  The rest of it feels like a half-baked thriller that results in a Hollywood ending that includes a more-than-a-mouthful exposition scene telling the audience the motivations for one of the characters.  Talk about a disappointment.  The cinematography is great and there are moments where this looks and feels like a great WWII flick from the 60s & 70s.  Then there's John Barry's moving score.  I miss him.  This was his last score before he died 10 years later. While it's an average score for him, his style and adeptness for themes is all over it.  It fits the picture like a warm blanket on a cold Sunday afternoon.  For a convoluted two hours, the music is the best thing about it and it shouldn't have been.

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