Saturday, 18 March 2017

''The Imitation Game'' (2014 film)- Review

Directed by: Morten Tyldum
Released: 2014
Country: United States

Genre: Historical, biographical, drama, war, thriller

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


I sometimes find war movies intimidating. Even historical and biographical films can be slightly intimidating. But in case of ''The Imitation Game'', it was exactly the opposite. I loved, loved, loved the film. From the beginning to the end. I loved every second of it: the film was intriguing, it dealt with a concept extremely interesting and sometimes suspenseful, and it had characters that over the course of the film I learned to appreciate. The story has depth in it, a lot of depth to be honest, and this depth develops over the course of the film.

''The Imitation Game'', based on a true story, shifts between three periods, each period contributing to develop the character of the protagonist, Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch). Turing is a mathematician, a Cambridge University graduate, and during the World War II, he gets a job at Bletchley Park, and his work is to try break the Enigma codes that the Germans use for communicating. Turing decides to develop a separate machine for working and for the decryption, a method which Commander Alastair Denniston, played by Charles Dance, disapproves- and it is disapproved initially by the rest of the people working in the team as well, as they think that they are making no progress at all. However, eventually his co-workers start respecting him and cooperating with him. He also appoints a very intelligent young woman, Joan Clarke (played by Keira Knightley) to work with them. The team work hard for decryption, and they know that breaking the Engima codes will greatly help them win the war or at least, to shorten the war and lessen the damages that it might cause.

Unknown to others, Turing is a homosexual, a fact he tries to hide because back then, homosexuals faced a lot of discrimination. The other two time periods also greatly contribute in the development of the character. One of the time periods shows a young Alan Turing, studying in an all-boys' school, bullied because he is different from the others. The other shows Turing's life after the war, as the police suspect him for being a spy: no record is found of his wartime activities, and as such, they investigate, thinking that he might have a shady background. And over the course of the film, over the course of the three different times periods, I eventually started to love the character, as the film developed a great depth in the character. 

I really admired the way the story is narrated and presented. I loved the way it shifts between the time periods, helping us get an insight into the life of Alan Turing. Benedict Cumberbatch is excellent in his role, he really is. I started to feel as excited as the characters when they performed their researches for the decryption, when they worked to develop the machines. Although at the very beginning the co-workers of Alan had little depth, over the course of the film each of them became an individual, each of them became distinct and recognizable. Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Allen Leech, and Matthew Beard play the four co-workers of Turing and I must say I started to love the way the eventually cooperate with each other in their work. Each has his own chemistry with the major character, Alan Turing. The chemistries are all unique and interesting. Keira Knightley, of course, brightens up the film a lot, and remains extremely memorable. I loved her character and the way it develops, I really did. 

By the time film ended I had become intrigued by the story, the characters. The story and its ultimate culmination were emotionally powerful, it really was. After watching the film, I read about Alan Turing, Joan Clarke and the other people involved in the work of breaking the Engima codes. Although there are factual and historical inaccuracies in the film, apparently, and certain things, certain characters in the film are overly romanticized, I hardly think that matters because the film succeeds in what it wants to do: it tells us about Alan Turing, someone about whom I really hadn't heard much before watching this film and at least now I know about some of his contributions. After watching the film, I read about the things the film deals with, and now I know about them. Yes, it succeeds in what it tries to do. It succeeds in being an excellent, moving film- with an excellent screenplay, a magnificent story and great performances- and it succeeds in making the audience aware of the life and works of Alan Turing. 


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