Monday, January 5, 2015


The Second World War is an era which will never run out of stories to tell; it was just too big of an event which effected a countless number of people. THE IMITATION GAME is a film which reveals one of the most important persons in the war; a person who never stepped foot on the battlefield.

Based on a true story, Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), is a brilliant mathematician faced with the insurmountable task of breaking the secret code the Nazi’s are using to communicate with their troops. Turing decides to build a machine, essentially the world’s first computer, to analyze and break the code before the war is lost.

On the surface, the plot of THE IMITATION GAME seems simple; break the code and win the war. The task seems impossible (it would theoretically take five men several years to run through every variation of the code), and the stakes are high as the Nazi armies press on. As THE IMITATION GAME presses on in the race against time, the film gradually evolves into several layers…all centered around Alan Turing. With a series of well-timed flashbacks, THE IMITATION GAME explores Turing’s past and its impact on him, along with the personal life that he is keeping a secret from the world. Director Morten Tyldum strikes a perfect balance between a character piece and large-scale drama as the many layers of storytelling blend seamlessly together; never failing to engage the audience.

There is a constant sense of fascination with THE IMITATION GAME. Turing is an odd character with his socially awkward demeanor and quirky behavior. As Turing clashes with his doubting superiors and co-workers over his invention, how and why he became this way is explored in full…and the flashbacks pay off in a big way not only in the plot but in Turing’s character. It is a marvelous piece of storytelling which is bold in its approach and perfect in execution.

Director Morten Tyldum keeps the pacing brisk and humor well-timed, all while keeping the sense of urgency and dread going at all times. The pressure of the war is always there, and despite how much the film focuses on character, the large-scale impact of the Nazi invasions is always hanging over the goings-on. The stakes here are huge, not only for Turing but for the world overall.

Benedict Cumberbatch is nothing short of outstanding as Alan Turing. He digs deep and finds the moral center of an oddball character whose mind essentially works like a computer (information in, information out), and it’s impossible to take your eyes off him for a blink. Keira Knightley is equally brilliant as Turing’s co-worker and eventual love interest and matches Cumberbatch stride-for-stride, and Matthew Goode, as one of Turing’s doubting co-workers, makes an excellent foe for Cumberbatch to duel against. The supporting cast of Mark Strong, Charles Dance, and Rory Kinnear are also excellent.

After several whopping twists and turns and the impact of Turing’s work is felt throughout the story and the world, THE IMITATION GAME sticks to the true and tragic story of the man as he is eventually persecuted by the government for the secret personal life he so closely guarded. But the film never lets go of the impact Turing had on the war and the world even up to today, making for a grand scale of a film which is unforgettable. THE IMITATION GAME is a perfect merging of an espionage drama and a character piece; a massive impactful story with meaningful intimacy…never forgetting the people who were effected by WWII. It is masterful filmmaking as it is vital viewing for the sake of history and overwhelmingly satisfying storytelling. 


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