Enigma

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(2001) ★★★

Watch: Saturday 26 September, 10pm

Cambridge mathematician Dougray Scott puts his nervous breakdown on hold to help military intelligence win the war of secret codes against Nazi Germany. But the most pressing puzzle seems to be the disappearance of Bletchley Park mystery woman Saffron Burrows.

Played out to the last film score by John Barry, Michael Apted’s comfortingly old-fashioned romantic melodrama embellishes the adventurous aspects of a morally murky wartime gamble with a brusque and unconvincing climactic Highlands hike into 39 Steps territory.

Until then, Robert Harris’ cleverly constructed story – a fictional imitation of the factional Imitation Game – looks good on screen, with meticulous attention to detail in dress and set design, and a clutch of sturdy performances from a cast that doesn’t just look right in the part; they all seem to be at home with the idioms of the period.

Dougray Scott’s genius codebreaker Tom Jericho is dour and borderline whiny with a face, like the young Tom Courtenay’s, set to miserable, while Kate Winslet embodies the spirit of a bright spark in specs who’s fed up with being patronised by mediocre men.

Jeremy Northam’s amusingly sarcastic secret service agent steals the show with his sneering observations: “Communists, foreign nationals, geniuses just this side of barking mad,” he says of Bletchley’s Station X. “It’s a security nightmare.”

But it’s the phantom, flashback-presence of Saffron Burrows as the silk-stockinged, crimson-lipped enigma incarnate who hangs over the film like a seductive shroud, an inscrutable femme fatale leading a string of men around by their trousers.

Certificate: 15

Duration: 114min

IMDB – Enigma

TMDB – Enigma

Rotten Tomatoes – Enigma

Other Showings Time & Date
Watch Monday, 28 September at 10:00PM