Plot: During World War II, the English mathematical genius Alan Turing tries to crack the German Enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.
Director: Morten Tyldum
Released: November 2014
The almost mechanical feel to The Imitation Game feels somewhat appropriate given Alan Turing’s role in the invention of the computer. It flows with a theatrical rhythm and switches between timelines with almost clockwork precision. This isn’t to say that you won’t warm to the characters and feel sorry for how his country treated national hero Alan Turing (Cumberbatch)
Director Morten Tyldum’s film follows Turing’s journey as he attempts to break the Enigma Code and in turn help the allies win WWII, whilst also touching on his childhood in boarding school and his unfortunate demise once his sexuality becomes known to the authorities, though not exploring it as much as it could have done.
Between good writing and Cumberbatch’s perfect acting, it’s easy to like Turing, even if his arrogance and standoffishness repel the other characters. There’s a very nuanced quality about his performance, that feels organic throughout and very fitting of Alan Turing.
As mentioned before, the writing by Graham Moore is sublime. I’m not saying it’s the most groundbreaking you will see, but it has the right ingredients and hits all the right notes, especially as the characters deal with multiple-setbacks and adversity, along with extremely heart-wrenching moral dilemmas, particularly for the team as they must choose to let a Nazi attack on a shipping convoy go-ahead to protect the overall mission.
Knightley came into her own in the supporting role as Turing’s counterpart. Her role may not be much and isn’t filled with as many highs and lows Cumberbatch has to deal with, but she makes the most of the time she is given and further proves that when the writing is good, she can be an excellent actor, while Charles Dance, Mark Strong and especially Matthew Goode are also charming in their roles.
The Imitation Game is emotionally engaging and utterly endearing throughout. With a slick exquisite script and a talented ensemble strong enough to deliver, which can’t help you feel ashamed at just how he was treated by the country he helped save.