Film Review; Broken Codes and Broken Genius

(FROM LEFT TO RIGHT) Keira Knightley, Matthew Beard, Matthew Goode, Benedict Cumberbatch, Allen Leech

January 27, 2021

The remarkable 2014 historical film features the outstanding performance of Benedict Cumberbatch, who portrays the prominent mathematician Alan Turing. The Imitation Game centers on Turing’s highly influential involvement in World War ll alongside colleagues in cracking the notorious German ‘Enigma’ code. We see him obsessively working non-stop on a machine that he invented that was meant to aid in breaking the code. Cumberbatch melted into this complex character — a unique hero that ultimately helped the Allies win the war.

The biopic strongly portrays the historical background of the events that occurred during the 1930s. It is a complex, fascinating story, and the science seems far simple than otherwise its tricky self. The emotions and desires of each character are clear, and the truth of history is well-respected enough to create a captivating drama. It carefully touches upon the role that homosexuality played. Alan Turing was initially investigated under the suspicion of gross indecency. In retrospect, homosexuality was illegal during that time. It follows Turing’s life in various periods — it utilizes an interrogation performed by Detective Nock (Rory Kinnear) with narration by Turing as a framing device to lay out the story. He tells Detective Nock what he did during the war; although Nock believes he is a soviet spy rather than a gay man. Later, the film features various flashbacks that justify Turing’s moral character as a grown man. We witness his early days of discovering his passion for cryptography and his blossoming love for a classmate named Christopher.

Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley) played such a huge role in both the film and in Turing’s life. Clarke, a brilliant and kind woman, befriends Turing until their engagement, which ultimately falls apart. Through her character, we were able to see a lot of the fun and smiling bits of Turing’s life; various parts of his story that were really funny and charming. Knightley, being the iconic stature that she is, portrayed this character so eloquently and charmingly.

The screenplay by Graham Moore was written brilliantly; it is flawless and clear, while we flashback and flash forward to different periods. His method of beginning the story in media res adds suspense and desire and inarguably sets the tone for the whole film.

Music maestro, Alexander Desplat, composed the brilliant film score, which conveys many unspoken emotions throughout the story; Turing’s genius brain, the suspense of breaking the enigma, and the trauma of Alan Turing’s past life.

When you experience such an incredible film, the editing, costume design, production, and impeccable cast tend to stand out as much as the person behind the whole production; the director. Morten Tyldum is incredibly talented. He delivered an amazing tribute to Alan Turing, which was simultaneously entertaining and moving. The costume design is sophisticated yet it exhibits a sense of carelessness from each character — their focus was breaking enigma and not particularly how they dressed.

The Imitation Game is genius and witty. It juxtaposes both humorous and dramatic genres to create an overall entertaining effect, all while recounting the extraordinary story of Alan Turing that anyone with a love for technology must learn about.

“The Imitation Game” is rated PG-13

Directed by Morten Tyldum, written by Graham Moore, based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma, edited by William Goldenberg, music by Alexander Desplat, production design, Maria Djurkovic, produced by, Nora Grossman, Graham Moore, Ido Ostrowosky, Teddy Schwarzman; released by Black Bear Pictures. Running time: 1h 54m.

WITH: Benedict Cumberbatch (Alan Turing), Keira Knightley (Joan Clarke), Matthew Goode (Hugh Alexander), Allen Leech (John Cairncross), Mark Strong (Stewart Menzies), Charles Dance (Commander Deniston), Rory Kinnear (Detective Nock).

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