The Imitation Game

Directed by Morten Tyldrum

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode and Allen Leech
In UK cinemas November 14th, 2014

by Amanda Farley

Alan Turing’s story is a difficult one to tell. Writer Graham Moore uses three different periods in Turing’s life to explore the history of this pioneering British scientist and mathematician.

Alan Turing (Cumberbatch) was part of a team of code-breakers working to crack the Enigma Code during the second world war. Aided by his friend fellow code-breaker Joan Clarke (Knightley) and a small team of some of Briton’s finest minds, he managed to help Britain win the war before being prosecuted and chemically castrated in 1952 for gross indecency, due to his homosexuality.

Directed by Morten Tyldum, this film celebrates Turing’s oddness. Opening in 1952, we then move between his war years and his time at school. Turing’s life is beautifully weaved together and Tyldum and Moore manage to capture a real sense of the tragedy and greatness of the man. Exploring his sexuality and the level of secrecy that haunted him during his life, this film makes for gripping viewing.

Cumberbatch is wonderful as Turing. As he has proved time and time again he has a natural ability to play highly intelligent, if also slightly awkward, characters. Turing is no different. He makes him abrasive, confident, totally impossible and completely charming. While Knightley brings a pluckiness to Joan that plays well against Cumberbatch’s sombreness.

This is a beautiful film, with a strong cast about an interesting historical figure. It does however lack a little spark. In trying to tell so many different things, the film never really explores anything fully and that is a shame as it constantly feels like there is something much more interesting and real just beneath the surface.

With that aside, I am writing this review on a computer and I imagine you are reading this on one too. That says a lot about the lasting legacy of Turing’s work and this film is a lovely way to honour the life of a man who saved so many lives and contributed so much to society.

The Imitation Game: Benedict CumberbatchThe Imitation Game: Benedict Cumberbatch & Keira Knightley
Benedict Cumberbatch has a name so good, he applauds it.Keira Knightley agrees. Has also decided to go by “Benedict Cumberbatch”.

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