Film Review – The Imitation Game (2014)


Title – The Imitation Game (2014)

Director – Morten Tyldum (Headhunters)

Cast – Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightly, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Charles Dance

Plot – The true story of mathematical genius and inwardly tormented Alan Turing (Cumberbatch) and his work during World War 2 to help the allies crack the seemingly impossible German Enigma machine. His work during this time went a long way to creating the invention of the computer.

 “Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine”

Review by Eddie on 14/05/2015

The recipient of 8 Academy Award nominations at this year’s ceremony and the winner of the Best Adapted Screenplay category, Norway born director Morten Tyldum, who finds himself about as far away from his breakout thriller Headhunters as you could imagine, tells the true life story of mathematical genius and one of World War 2’s key players Alan Turing in an assured manner that is however, to by the numbers to breakout into classic territory.

With a typically strong and charismatic performance from everyone’s favourite Sherlock Benedict Cumberbatch and with a real life story that is almost stranger than fiction, The Imitation Game is a film that is eminently watchable from its first frame to the last but once all is said and done there is worryingly little to bring your mind back to what you’ve just seen, which with a story like this shouldn’t be the case.

Tyldum directs in a visually impressive manner but with little true originality and even though his surrounded himself with ever wonderful composer Alexandre Desplat and solid D.O.P Oscar Faura, he can’t make the Imitation Game break the shackles that tie it to the unshakeable feeling that this is a glorified TV movie, not a standout big production event. Tyldum and screenwriter Graham Moore try to shun these TV like qualities with a narrative that flashes forward and flashes back and never allows things to get to stagnant but it’s not enough to elevate the film completely, with Cumberbatch coming to the rescue in this matter.

In an ensemble that never gets to really shine, wasted Matthew Goode and I don’t know how Oscar nominated Keira Knightly try their hardest but don’t make much of an impression, Cumberbatch shines in one of his first truly lead big screen roles. His Turing is not likable in the normal sense but the man was far from normal himself. Cumberbatch plays the line between neurosis and humanity perfectly and it’s a deservedly lauded turn by him.

It would’ve been nice to get more of a feel for the greater ramifications of what Turing’s invention meant to the overall picture of World War 2 and while Turing is an intriguing figure, the Imitation Game could’ve benefited from a more rounded supporting cast, but the Imitation Game never outstays its welcome and is a sufficiently produced snapshot of one of the Wars most important events and also one of the most important technological advancements of the last 100 years.

3 and a half apple treats out of 5

14 responses to “Film Review – The Imitation Game (2014)

  1. Little too gay for me to bother even watching.

    More on the war and what went on to winning less on what it was like being a homo would have been good.

      • I agree. I had the same first impression when I read the summary, but it wasn’t at all about homosexuality.. I thought that they just added enough of that bit to explain how different Alan is and how misunderstood and isolated. It brought even more depth to his already extremely complicated character. It added another layer to The Imitation Game, because he is not only a machine-like human who tries to imitate normal humans but yet faces the dilemma of having to think like a machine in order to break the code, but in the backdrop he is also a secret homosexual during a time when homosexuality is illegal and punishable and thus he must also imitate “normal” males.

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