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Enigma: Special Edition

This compelling and involving thriller may reinvent history at its whim, but it is nonetheless a riveting film set amongst the unpredictable geniuses who broke the German military's Enigma code to help win the Second World War. Dougray Scott stars in Enigma as nervous (and fictional) codebreaker Tom Jericho, who removed himself from British intelligence operations at Bletchley Park to recover from a breakdown brought on by a striking beauty (Saffron Burrows) who indulged the introvert in a brief love affair. Upon his return a month later, Jericho is a key operator in breaking an impenetrable submarine code — which tragically necessitates a successful German ambush on an Allied convoy. And he also is unraveling another mystery — what happened to the woman who tore him down and then suspiciously disappeared — with the help of her mousy but resourceful roommate (Kate Winslet). Directed by Michael Apted with typical reserve, Enigma depicts the dazzling intellect of brilliant scientists without the condescending emotional spooning of Ron Howard's insipid A Beautiful Mind. Scott portrays Jericho with a dark and troubled genius, and Winslet is customarily fetching and smart, even as Apted attempts to pass her off as a dowdy wallflower. Produced by Mick Jagger and written by Tom Stoppard from Robert Harris's novel, Enigma is a dense and intelligent thriller which tempers its occasional convolutions with a fine attention to character and a textured verisimilitude. Columbia TriStar's second DVD release of Enigma features a good anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. New supplements include a thoughtful, informative commentary from director Apted, the behind-the-scenes featurette "Putting It All Together" (20 min.), the featurette "Bletchley Park and Enigma" (18 min.), three deleted scenes, filmographies, and trailers. Keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr



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