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Enigma

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R
2001

Enigma is a World War II-era drama film directed by Michael Apted, released in 2001. The film features a sterling cast, including Dougray Scott as Tom Jericho, Kate Winslet as Hester Wallace, and Saffron Burrows as Claire Romilly. Loosely based on real events, the movie dramatizes the trials and triumphs of codebreakers stationed at Britain's top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, and the challenges they encounter in the quest to break the infamous German cipher machine, Enigma.

Set in the heart-stopping context of World War II, the movie provides a glimpse of the unsung heroes behind the scenes of the war, occupying secret offices rather than battlefields, armed with codes and ciphers rather than guns and grenades. The central character, Tom Jericho (Scott), is a brilliant but tormented British mathematician who is pivotal in breaking the codes generated by the German naval Enigma machine.

The film sparkles with intrigue, not only as a war story, but also as a mystery thriller. At the center of this is the character of Claire Romilly (Burrows), who is Jericho's former lover and an intelligent, enigmatic woman working at Bletchley Park. When she suspiciously disappears right around the time the German U-boats change their codes, Jericho is forced to grapple not only with the exacerbating issue of the Enigma machine but also the perplexing disappearance of Claire.

Driven by Claire's disappearance, and determined to uncover the truth, Jericho is forced to relive their tumultuous relationship whilst pouring over her personal effects in his desperate quest for clues. Here, he is reluctantly helped by Hester Wallace (Winslet), Claire's ordinarily reserved and overlooked roommate, who unexpectedly shows herself to be a gifted codebreaker.

As Jericho tries to recapture the brilliance of his early career to help his war-torn country — while also dealing with unrequited feelings for Claire — he starts discovering threads of international conspiracy, treachery, and heartbreak. His undeniable chemistry with Winslet’s character Hester, and his lingering feelings for Claire, also serve to add an element of romance to the film's tense atmosphere.

Michael Apted's direction ensures that the narrative keeps adequate pace, not allowing the technicalities of ciphering and decoding to slow down what is essentially a human drama set within a complicated war puzzle. The movie deftly combines the elements of war drama, romance, and thriller to push the narrative forward, offering a peek into the world of cryptanalysis while never letting the drama and human relationships in the story take a backseat.

Dougray Scott delivers a poignant performance as Tom Jericho, successfully conveying the internal and external pressures a man of his intellect and sensitivity endures in such high-stakes circumstances. Kate Winslet's portrayal of Hester is equally convincing as a secondary protagonist, transitioning smoothly from a wallflower to a woman of surprising tenacity and insight. Saffron Burrows' character Claire injects an aura of mystery that not only chips away at Jericho's heart but also adds to the overall enigma of the film.

The atmospheric production design of Enigma effectively sets the period, capturing the grim and tense environment of war-torn Britain and the secretive world of Bletchley Park. The movie's cinematography and score blend well to evoke a palpable sense of tension and urgency throughout the film.

In conclusion, Enigma is an engrossing blend of historical war drama, romantic tension, and thrilling mystery. The cast’s powerful performances, Apted’s skilled direction, and the intriguing narrative make this film well worth viewing for fans of World War II history, cryptography, or cinema-goers looking for a rich blend of drama and intrigue set against a backdrop of world-changing events.

Enigma is a Mystery, Drama, Thriller, Romance, War movie released in 2001. It has a runtime of 119 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.4. It also holds a MetaScore of 64.

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Where can I stream Enigma movie online? Enigma is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Enigma for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

6.4/10
64/100
Director
Michael Apted
Stars
Dougray Scott, Kate Winslet, Jeremy Northam, Saffron Burrows, Tom Hollander
Also starring Brock Pierce
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