Dir. Morten Tyldum
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
“Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.”
Welcome to a powerful biopic of code breaking maths genius Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) – an incredible unsung war hero whose single-minded dedication to breaking the German Enigma code was a defining element of the Allied victory in World War 2.
"Boffins might just save us all!"
The Imitation Game dramatizes the ground-breaking work of Turing and his team which includes Hugh Alexander (Matthew Goode), John Cairncross (Allen Leech) and Peter Hilton (Matthew Beard) at Bletchley Park. The plot is fleshed out with flashbacks to his awkward formative school days at Sherborn – young Turning played by Jack Bannon and his tragic final years after the war where he was the focus of a Police investigation.
Cumberbatch is absolutely superb in the lead role, and he is ably backed up Keira Knightley who plays Joan Clarke – Turing’s one time fiancé who also worked at Bletchley. There is a delicious warm chemistry between the two equally awkward logic lovers, which encompasses Turing’s sexuality and the issues that brings to his life. Also on hand are MI6 Major Stewart Menzies (Mark Strong) and Commander Alastair Denniston (Charles Dance) who play good cop / bad cop in regard to Turing’s expensive plans to build a machine that just might crack the Nazi code.
"Failure will lead to doom"
It’s not easy being a cryptanalyst though and Cumberbatch (who really should be getting an Oscar nod for his work here) captures the alienation of his existence in a believable and moving way. Credit must go to Director Morten Tyldum too though who keeps passages that could have been stilted - such as when the team wait for any sign that Turing’s machine might actually work - into a nail-biting race against time. Adding footage of Nazi bombing runs and battle progress across Europe helps highlight the urgency and human cost of the code-cracking mission and brings the achievement made into sharp focus.
I took my dear old mum to see this and she was impressed – this is a film that works across generations and is much better than the similarly themed Enigma from 2001.
The Imitation Game cracks along at a pleasing pace and delivers a quality tribute to Turing whose incredible legacy is one that has benefited the whole world.
"Stiff upper lips ahoy"
Go and check it out, history like this is worth investigating.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(4 - Worthy wartime thriller, that thrills!)
Awesomeness ööö – make code cracking, cracking at points
Laughs öö – limited mirth
Horror öö – Nazis are not nice
Babes ööö – Keira!
Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - Bravery beyond personal cost!
Recommended Hashtags: #TuringFTW