Operation Mincemeat was the weird real-life scheme cooked up by British intelligence in 1943 to idiot Nazi Germany into considering the allies deliberate to invade Greece and Sardinia, somewhat than their precise goal, Sicily. The corpse of a tramp was dressed up as fictitious “Capt William Martin” and carried elaborate bogus plans for this nonexistent invasion; the physique was dumped into the ocean in order that it might wash up in Spain the place the British had been assured this phoney intelligence can be obediently handed to the Germans.
Screenwriter Michelle Ashford has tailored the nonfiction bestseller by Ben Macintyre about this extraordinary journey and John Madden directs, with Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen enjoying the stiff higher lipped chaps in cost, Ewen Montagu and Charles Cholmondeley. And Johnny Flynn performs naval intelligence’s brightest spark: Lt Cdr Ian Fleming (the longer term creator of James Bond, who probably had the concept within the first place) in an entertainingly tongue-in-cheek efficiency.
In some ways, an important determine right here is the MI5 clerk Jean Leslie (performed by Kelly Macdonald) whose picture was positioned on the physique to be the faux captain’s imagined “girlfriend”. Leslie’s supporting function is a part of the way in which this movie is striving for a somewhat fashionable emotional intelligence: it’s much less callous and extra caring concerning the wretched homeless man getting used on this method, and the main gamers are pondering, like artists, their creation and the sunshine he casts on their very own stress and loneliness. It’s a bit completely different from the earlier movie about Operation Mincemeat, The Man Who By no means Was (1956), which was tailored instantly from Montagu’s personal revealed memoir, and created a human-interest angle with a completely fictional and barely noir-ish subplot a few pro-German Irish spy who investigates the phoney girlfriend, performed by Gloria Grahame.
Did the actual Operation Mincemeat do any good? This movie doesn’t commit itself, however hints in any respect types of spycraft double-bluff which can lastly have finished the job. That is one other of the “dwelling entrance wartime” Britfilms, equivalent to Munich: The Edge of War, Their Most interesting, The Imitation Sport and Darkest Hour, all most likely impressed by the Oscar-winning success of The King’s Speech, which have their emphasis on home morale, strategic ingenuity and political shenanigans, somewhat than battlefield motion. Operation Mincemeat is watchable sufficient, however maybe can’t discover a fictional method into the stranger-than-fiction outrageousness of the scheme itself.