The Imitation Game (2014)

A film that starts with the words “based on a true story”, more often than not, are some of the best films ever made and remain some of my favourites. Wartime thriller ‘The Imitation Game’ has now been added to that list and will resonate with me for a while.

‘The Imitation Game’ focuses on the British mathematician, cryptologist and utter genius Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his team of code-breakers (Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode included) who, in the darkest days World War II, were racing against time to crack the impossible German Code ‘Enigma’ that helped the Allies win the war. Not only setting it during his code-breaking days, it also takes a more personal touch: his teenage years, his prosecution for homosexual acts and his awful treatment afterwards. Chronologically, the film may have been boring and not half as clever as it was. But instead it wove in and out of these different time periods making it an interesting watch.

I liked the fact that writer Graham Moore included this character exposition and backstory. It made Alan Turing human, something that maybe his colleagues and others didn’t think he was. Many probably perceived him like one of the machines that he wrote about or wanted to create, yet at heart, he was just different living in a time where different was not accepted easily. It seems he was only truly ‘accepted’ a year ago, when he was granted a posthumous royal pardon for ‘gross indecency’. This man is remarkable, did so much for our country and changed the course of history, so why did it take so long? It is a true injustice. Please don’t mistake what I’ve said so far to mean this is a sad film, really it’s not. It is an engrossing thriller, it is ‘feel good’, and really shows Turing’s achievements, as well as our country’s achievements fighting in the war.

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No words can describe how in awe of Benedict Cumberbatch I am and as Alan Turing, he was mesmerising and captivating, presenting the complex Turing as the biggest code to break of all. He was also heart-breaking, and his poignant portrayal made me cry.

Keira Knightley is warm and calming as Joan Clarke, the only woman on the team. Forget how ever so posh she is, she is Alan’s only vice sometimes and seems to be the only person to understand him. She is subject to prejudice herself in the film; as a lady, she is different too and not meant for intellectual things it seems and is expected to take a husband and live out her days. Matthew Goode is equally as charming as Hugh Alexander. And Charles Dance, Mark Strong and Rory Kinnear are a welcome addition to the cast.

This is the best film I’ve seen in 2014 so far and no doubt it’ll be nominated for a few at the Oscars. “Are you paying attention?” Alan Turing asks you and, honestly, ‘The Imitation Game’ will really grab your attention.

‘The Imitation Game’ is in cinemas now!

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