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Year: 2001 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

A WW2 espionage drama, set against the backdrop of Bletchley Park, the top-secret facility established by Britain for the purpose of breaking the Enigma code, the "unbreakable" code used by the Germans.

Tom Jericho (Dougray Scott) is a crack code-breaker (no pun intended) who is returning to Bletchley after leave. We soon find out that he is psychologically on the edge, because of an unrequited love affair with the mysterious Claire. (Saphron Burrows.) When he arrives back at Bletchley, Claire has disappeared. Tom enlists the help of her former house-mate, Hester, (Kate Winslet) to solve the mystery of her disappearance. As some questions are answered, many more arise.

The screenplay is based on a book of the same name by Thomas Harris. It is a refreshing change to see a film which does not glamorise the war. The whole feel is of a slightly dull, depressed country. But the film is in no way dull. It may not have as many explosions or gunfights as other films based on the same topic (eg U-571) but it does have one huge thing going for it - accuracy.

Enigma manages to avoid large coincidences or other convoluted ways of moving the plot along. It also gives credit to the British work done in cracking the code instead of the usual "Americans save the day" theme.

It is a thriller in the style of "39 Steps" and "The Third Man" which challenges you to actually think about the film. That isn’t to say that it’s complicated - you don’t need to be able to solve the Times crossword in less than 3 minutes to enjoy the film - but it does have a plot.

Overall, highly recommended. Be prepared to engage with the movie. Don't expect non-stop action, savour the performances, and I am sure you will enjoy it.

Ben Goddard

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Screenings of this film:

2001/2002 Spring Term (35mm)
2001/2002 Spring Term (35mm)