Film Review – Operation Mincemeat (2021)

Title – Operation Mincemeat (2021)  

Director – John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) 

Cast – Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald, Jason Isaacs, Johnny Flynn

Plot – During World War 2, British intelligence officers Ewen Montagu (Firth) and Charles Cholmondeley (Macfadyen) conjure up and convoluted and multi-pronged plan to deceive the German forces of false plans of attack to help swing the war in the allied forces favor. 

“In any story, if it’s good story, there is that which is seen, and that which is hidden. This is especially true in stories of war.”

Review by Eddie on 19/10/2022

Just in case there are those out there worried about Shakespeare in Love director John Madden’s return to World War 2, fear not for the based on the true story Operation Mincemeat is far less cringe-inducing than his Nicolas Cage effort Captain Corelli’s Mandolin as the Oscar nominated director ensures this wartime thriller with a difference is at all times engaging without ever being utterly gripping. 

Dealing with one of the most renowned war time acts of deception in history, that saw a group of British intelligence officers, here lead by Colin Firth’s Ewen Montagu and Matthew Macfadyen’s Charles Cholmondeley, plan and enact a masterful plot to throw the Nazi regime off the scent of the allied factions real plans too land and set out to reconquer Europe, Mincemeat has some undoubtedly slow moments and some rather uninspired love angles but when the engaging true story is taking the spotlight, Mincemeat offers up an insightful and thrilling ride. 

Without any of the cast able to do anything we haven’t seen them do multiple times before, with Firth, Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald and Jason Isaacs all giving their bare minimum to roles that could’ve potentially been far deeper explored and bought to life and Madden going through the motions behind the scenes, what really makes Mincemeat tick is its central and almost unbelievable story that is going to be an eye opening experience for anyone like me who knew very little about the work of Montagu and Cholmondeley and what they were trying to achieve for the good of the fight against the Nazi plight.

Involving dead bodies, fake romances, eye lashes and a lot of wishful thinking, what Montagu and Cholmondeley set out to do is quite extraordinary in many different ways and while the film about their undertakings isn’t, there’s no denying that this real life story is worth your time to explore. 

Final Say – 

While the film itself isn’t overly inspiring and its cast have all been seen better elsewhere, Operation Mincemeat gets by thanks to its great true story and a larger than life undertaking that remains hugely impressive to this day. 

3 bloated corpses out of 5 

4 responses to “Film Review – Operation Mincemeat (2021)

  1. I had high expectations about this one, and it didn’t quite live up to what I thought it would be, but overall it was a good movie and the dry humor was right up my alley. Plus it was great to see an operation I’d been taught about brought to the screen.

    • I knew very little about this real life operation but found it fascinating. Film itself here was nothing to write home about but I have seen a lot worse recently.

  2. I read a terrific book about this operation (“The Man Who Never Was”) when I was a teen. It spurred (along with the novels of Leon Uris) a lifelong fascination for the history of WWII.

    So on my list!

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