The Imitation Game, directed by Morten Tyldum, is a biographical drama set in WWII, following the story of mathematician Alan Turing, as he works with a group of mathematicians at Bletchly Park army base in the attempt to crack the German enigma code, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Rory Kinnear, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Charles Dance.
The films story is real and as such it has a bigger feeling of importance and weight to it, taking place in WWII, a real war in which real people were dying and though we know the outcome, seeing period films during the war still bring that feeling of tragedy and urgency for the characters. The enigma code was a system used by the Nazis’ to encode their internal communications and hide them from the allies and breaking it, of course would be a huge advantage, as the allies would have knowledge of incoming attacks or Nazi supply runs etc. The plot works around the creation of the enigma machine at Bletchley Park in England, the worlds first computer and the steps it took to make it, the painstaking hours of failure and mistakes and eventual success. Relationships are pushed to the limit and the tension between characters is raised to the extreme, with this underlying tension in the story is personified in the films characters, in relation to Turing and his work/dedication to creating the machine.
The director takes a story not that well known and brings it front and centre and at its’ heart it’s a character drama, driven by the eccentric but brilliant Alan Turing, played fantastically by Benedict Cumberbatch, who brings a feeling of childlike naivety and a simplistic, measured approach to almost everything, making him a pain to work with but a great mind, Cumberbatch even uses voice inflection for the role, further bringing himself into character. While Keira Knightly as Joan brings the level headed, inquisitive side to the story, regularly questioning Alan and his methods but ultimately caring a lot for him. Hugh Alexander (Matthew Goode) and his other colleagues represent opposition to Turing and how he worked and are a great source of tension, showing that not everyone backed or believed in Turing, tension reaches very high levels between characters as they frantically work to crack the enigma code while the war is ongoing.
The plot works well as a character driven story and also has great overall components to it, in a very good soundtrack, good cinematography and great mis-en-scene, from the outfits of the soldiers at the army bases to the tins that Turing and his colleagues ate out of, contributing to being able to believe this story is taking place in the 1940s. While Turings’ sexuality is also an important part of the story and his own character development, seeing him change as a person as he came out to Joan and faced his own truth was great to see, though seeing the results of him doing that in 194os’ Britain is a bit tragic.
The Imitation Game is a great real life story, dramatized and brought to life by a strong cast, it highlights different aspects of the real Turing and brings to light the awful treatment of homosexuality at that time period. And while it dramatizes the truth and ignores things here and there, it’s still a good posthumous honor for Turing, his work and his mind and as a film it works well, presenting an engaging period peace.
. Film has some great performances, Cumberbatch and Knightley especially
. Turings’ life story is brought to life to make an interesting story – which does take creative liberties with the creation of the enigma machine
. Believable looking period film