77 of 82 people found the following review helpful
An Enigmatic film experience.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Enigma [DVD]  (DVD)
Enigma is a fantastic film from acclaimed director Michael Apted. Featuring Dougray Scott, Kate Winslet and Jeremy Northam, it is based on Robert Harris' book of the same name. The story is set in England during World War II and focuses on the efforts of British cryptanalysts who worked tirelessly throughout the war to break German codes and ciphers. The Germans believed that the messages encrypted on their Enigma machines were indecipherable. Tom Jericho (Scott) is one of the cryptanalysts working at Bletchley Park, the code-breaking centre of England. He is recovering from a nervous breakdown following a relationship break-up and due to the stress of his job. Having broken the Enigma codes before he returns to Bletchley to help break a new and more sophisticated German U-Boat code, only to discover that his ex-lover Claire (Saffron Burrows) has disappeared. Enlisting the help of her room-mate Hester (Winslet), Jericho sets out to find her. Meanwhile, Bletchley Park is under the surveillance of Agent Wigram (Northam), searching for a double-agent at Bletchley, determined to incriminate the missing Claire and the love-sick Jericho. Throw in a dramatic stand-off between German U-Boats, American cargo ships and the harried Bletchley cryptanalysts, as well as a car chase and a love triangle, and Engima provides an exciting 119 minutes of viewing pleasure!
Kate Winslet gives a strong and assured performance, allowing Hester to add some 'Girl Power' to the largely 'Boys-Own' adventure. Dougray Scott looks suitably gaunt and worn-out as Jericho, Saffron Burrows is perfectly cast as the beautiful and enigmatic Claire and Jeremy Northam is wonderfully suave, sophisticated and cold as the ruthless government agent.
The DVD contains special features such as interviews with the cast and a 'Making-of' featurette. Shots of raw, behind-the-scenes footage give you a chance to see how several of the shots in the movie were filmed, as well as an extended observation of Mick Jagger (co-Producer) as a night club extra! The behind-the-scenes footage is fantastic. I especially enjoyed hearing the actors discuss their characters and the history of Bletchley Park and its inhabitants. One problem with the Special Features on this disc is that the raw footage seems out of context. It just shows one scene being shot, then another, then another ad-infinitum. It would've been nice to have had Apted or the cinematographer give us some kind of commentary to give an insight into the filming process. Likewise, the film itself has no commentary track. Having heard Northam's insights into his performance on The Winslow Boy DVD commentary, this is a pity.
Watching Enigma, I felt like I had been magically transported back into England of the 1940s, living the life of a Bletchley Park cryptanalyst. I didn't want to leave the world Michael Apted and his cast and crew had created, which is surely the sign of a great film.
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Initial post: 16 Oct 2009 09:44:26 BDT
Derek Stiles says:
Fascinating how the people at Bletchley worked on deciphering and gradually broke down the codes. They passed their interviews, and when they reported to Bletchley they set to work on deciphering. Man or women education dod not matter neither your sex. Now we understand how these people worked togeather and had to be a complete team to produce reliable results.
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