When and how did I watch this?
September 26th, 2015, on a friend’s Plex account.
Had I seen this film already?
What did I know about the movie before watching it?
We checked out the summary, being a relatively recent release, and discovered it had historical inaccuracies. It was somewhat unfortunate, and I had to sort of reset my mind and overlook any discrepancies I might have noticed.
What do I know about it now?
I had no problem ignoring errors, because I didn’t recognize any. Instead, I had to ignore the fact that two stories were in fact being told — neither of which were completely developed and made for a confused movie. On one hand, the movie attempted to do the WWII thing without anyone firing a gun or ordering soldiers around; the only blood involved a few punches to one character’s face. The idea of focusing on the decoding aspect of the war was interesting and started out well, but it was diced up by a completely independent story about the protagonist’s homosexuality and the struggles therein, both within himself and in conflict with the time period and intolerant culture. This might have worked as well, but it felt forced and became a distraction from what was going on. All of this was done with two time settings, which was confusing at times. They attempted at sentimentality at the end, crushing the climax of the film with a breakdown. The film also featured those corny “where are they now” text things over music at the end, which appeared condescending and, again, agenda-driven.
What are some themes in the film?
WWII, homosexuality, corruption, definition of genius, social conventions
Did this affect me personally?
A little bit. There was an interesting moment involving the decoders refusing to divulge information and stop an attack that a fellow’s brother would eventually be killed in. The idea was that they had to pick what was the “greater good” over what was convenient or emotionally-fueled at the time. I also respected the female character’s attempts at living a “normal” life with the protagonist despite his homosexual proclivities.
Why is this ranked #223?
It is desperately clear that a movie released in 2014 is on this list because the homosexual topic is hot stuff in just about every facet of our culture right now. It’s controversial, was once considered inconvenient, and is becoming a civil rights cause. Of course a movie like this would be popular, and it would be considered bigoted to not give it a high rating. The quality of the film, however, will eventually drive this off of the list.
Did my wife watch/like it?
Once again, she felt just like I did about it.
Would I watch it again?
Would I recommend it to a friend?
I think most of my friends have probably seen this or are familiar with it.
Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?
Nah. It’s interesting and new and “edgy”. Once the hype wears off, the movie will be what it is rather than what it stands for.