Operation Mincemeat the film depicts the greatest military deception of modern times, by teaching you how to be a great writer.
Operation Mincemeat (2022 Movie) Synopsis
How do you deceive Hitler into believing the Allied counter-invasion point is Greece when the actual target is hundreds of miles away? By crafting a plot so ludicrous, so outrageous, no German operative would dare to ignore it! After all, a drowned British commander with top-secret papers, washed ashore at a Spanish village, how could any German spy not believe it’s the greatest find of WWII?
I confess with shame. Though I was a huge fan of the Bond novels in lower secondary, I didn’t watch Operation Mincemeat yesterday because of that.
I only bought the ticket because it starred Colin Firth, an actor I’ve consistently enjoyed watching. Frankly, I barely even remember the so-called greatest military deception of modern times, apart from reading something like it some years ago, on some Buzzfeed-like site.
And so imagine my delight and surprise, when a young, rather smug-looking commander was introduced as Ian Fleming. Then nicknames like M and Q began popping up. While the dialogue kept getting better and better, and more lyrical.
The (revived) fanboy in me almost squealed. Wait, I did.
But nope, those are not the only reasons why I so deeply enjoyed this wartime espionage drama. For that matter, neither was it because of the astonishing success of the actual Operation Mincemeat. After all, one enters the cinema well knowing the Nazis were thoroughly bamboozled in 1943.
It was how the show smartly focuses on the months-long crafting of the ruse. Particularly, the persona of Major William Martin.
The girlfriend’s photograph and the love letter.
The meticulous preparation of the body, to ensure “Major Martin” was delivered into German hands the way the deception needed.
The repeated discussions of how the good major would think and feel, to ensure no loopholes are unnoticed.
It’s practically a docu-drama on the crafting of characters in storytelling. And as much as this sounds like something that’d only interest creative writers, you but need to sit through five minutes of it to be fascinated. To also have a thorough taste of the Shadow War being fought back then.
Needless to say, the leads are exemplary. The romantic triangle that served as a side story seems an overdramatised distraction, if it were even true to begin with, but the good news is that it never weighs down the main story. I’d even say the rather anti-climactic conclusion seems the most realistic way any such triangle could have ended.
As for Ian Fleming’s actual historical role in the operation, it’s fascinating, isn’t it? How Fleming eventually translated his involvement into stories and characters that would go on to fascinate the world for decades.
Not to mention how the operation indirectly created a story genre that remains super-profitable today. One wonders how the players of the operation felt when watching Bond movies.
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