Operation Mincemeat Review – but why actually? A geek community

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Operation Mincemeat - But why tho

Operation Mincemeat Coming to Netflix this week is a fascinating film based on true events that take place during World War II. What happened during this time left me deeply shocked. However, the most surprising thing about this film was that I learned as much as I did about the inspiration behind the James Bond book series and the author who wrote them. If I’ve caught your attention with this odd link, then follow me into a movie that tells a twisted tale of espionage at the highest level.

Directed by John Madden (think Shakespeare a Love, not NFL), Operation Mincemeat tells the story of a group of British intelligence officers during World War II who were hired by Winston Churchill (Simon Russell Beale) to fool Hitler and the Nazis into believing they were invading Greece when their real target was Sicily (an island directly in front of the door) was the southwest coast of Italy). Victory here would secure Allied forces a foothold on the shores of Europe and potentially turn the tide of the war.

The synopsis of this film alone drew me in immediately. I’m by no means a particularly big history buff, but upon hearing the fantastical nature of this storyline, I was stunned to believe that this was a real event, and yet there is so much more to this story. The film is directed by Colin Firth (Ewen Montagu), Matthew Macfadyen (Charles Cholmondeley), Kelly Macdonald (Jean Leslie), Penelope Wilton (Hester Leggett) and Johnny Flynn (Ian Fleming). Yes, the actual Ian Fleming who was the creator and author of the most famous fictional British secret agent James Bloody Bond.

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Fleming worked for British Intelligence before becoming a successful author, and during the time the film is set he helped create the “Trout Memo,” which detailed a variety of elaborate and deceptive plots to get Hitler and Germany to deceive, to move their troops. Operation Mincemeat delightfully brings in several Easter eggs to show some of the inspiration behind Fleming’s billion-dollar idea. The good news is that they’re more like tidbits you can find than a shoehorn, and those moments are extremely relevant to the plan at hand. Flynn serves as the partial narrator of the story, and his delivery and cadence bring a real seriousness to the moment.

Knowing that these events actually happened in the story has a certain level of suspense, and not knowing anything about it, I felt gripped by the suspense of the plot as the war’s success was at stake. The sequences depicting the moments of real espionage were brought to life brilliantly, but I wanted more of it. Madden instead prefers to focus on the more human elements of the main characters, spending time exploring their interactions so you can connect with them on a more personal level to feel involved in the larger storyline.

This decision is met with mixed reactions because while it’s important to point out that these were real people who risked their lives to serve their country, there are a few moments that set the tone and pace of the film derail. This makes the two-hour runtime feel lengthy at times, but it’s worth persevering with as this is a genuinely entertaining film.

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Firth delivers a performance that, if you’ve seen him in any film at all, feels similar to most of his previous roles. That being said, it works in the context of this story, and it’s helped by the conflict introduced by Macfadyen. The spectacle is very dry throughout and is to be expected given the severity of the situation and the time period set.

Operation Mincemeat is an incredibly exciting watch were it not for the simple fact that this bold event actually took place during World War II. It’s a sobering moment when the fate of the free world depended on a ludicrous plan to trick Hitler into staging a fake invasion. Character interactions can feel drawn out and slows down the overall pace of the film, but the spying of it all is very compelling. Spycraft fans, especially Bond, will absolutely love this film.

Operation Mincemeat is available exclusively on Netflix Wednesday May 11th.

Operation Mincemeat

7.5/10

TL;DR

Operation Mincemeat is an incredibly exciting watch were it not for the simple fact that this bold event actually took place during World War II. It’s a sobering moment when the fate of the free world depended on a ludicrous plan to trick Hitler into staging a fake invasion. Character interactions can feel drawn out and slows down the overall pace of the film, but the spying on it all is very compelling. Spycraft fans, especially Bond, will absolutely love this film.

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