ENIGMA   - A  Narada   Film Review

  as Claire Romilly.    
  as Tom Jericho..
    as Hester Wallace.  
ENIGMA    - Michael Apted-Director      Mick Jagger-Producer

  Reviewed 14 Dec 2002       This is the story of Britain's code-breakers who were trying to 'break' Germany's ENIGMA encoding machine, but with an added twist.   Director Michael Apted and Screenwriter Tom Stoppard have conspired admirably to take us back to the wartime '40's; a less sophisticated time, where we knew who our friends were, and who the enemy was.  Or so it would seem...   Tom Jericho (Dougray Scott) is a basket-case genius mathematician who finds he has more of a problem with love-interest Clarice Romilly (Saffron Burrows), than he does with his ENIGMA machine.  But then he finds he is not the only one with a 'Clarice Romilly' problem.  As the story unfolds we find she may be the bigger ENIGMA.
        The Director/Screenwriter team of Apted/Stoppard also, it seems, conspired to the best of their considerable abilities to prevent ENIGMA from becoming a screen masterpiece, with their regrettably ill-advised, stereotypical portrayals: the 'American Military Officer' as obtuse, demanding, and bellicose; and the Smarmy, condescending, overly-jaunty British Chief of Internal Security.   Apted & Stoppard already had a real story on their hands, but squandered it with soap-opera embellishment. Hint: something as vital as the survival of nations doesn't need shallow melodramatic devices to hook the viewer.   There is no way to say this nicely, guys; you blew it - big-time.   Also, a tip to the SFX team, a flotilla on its way to Europe should be "moving", not just bobbing in the bathtub waiting for U-boats...Ahennh!
       Mick Jagger lists himself as Producer.  He hasn't produced much good Rock & Roll lately, and he seems to find himself in, and out, and back into the movie-making world over the years. He seems to be capable of being good at either form of entertainment, but he needs to make up his mind, otherwise we can't get no satisfaction.   'Jagged' production, indeed...
      Enduring Line or Phrase:  "They were seeing each other...   they were seeing each other's brains out."

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