Mildly amusing at times, possibly complicated at others. The Imitation Game is a film about a typical English romance between a man and his computer. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the mathematician, Alan Turing who developed the first computer and managed to crack the secret Nazi enigma code. When going in to see The Imitation Game, my only thoughts on the film were “Oh well if it’s bad at least I get to watch Charles Dance for 20 minutes.
The film has many themes, the most important, in my opinion, is its demonstration of how harsh and gritty reality can be and how it can make the best of us fragile. Of course you can perceive it as a war film, a film about science and the development of the first computer, a film about the life and achievements of this one man and/or the team; even a film about Turing and the secrecy of his work and personal life (focusing on his homosexuality).
Despite playing the cocky detective Sherlock Holmes, Benedict Cumberbatch somehow becomes quite damaged and unaffected; a very distinct difference to his Sherlock persona.Commander Denniston played by heavyweight actor Charles Dance is arguably the one with the most bravado and bluster on the base. He’s the man with a plan to end the war. But despite being the commander, he’s slightly lacking in authority and allows a lot of impertinence from his staff. Joan Clarke, played by Keira Knightley, is the somewhat odd love interest of Turing. A plucky young girl that helps out at Bletchley, and by plucky young girl, I mean intelligent woman that most men are too arrogant to think could be of any help. An obvious choice for a film like The Imitation Game, Knightley has played the beautiful English sweetheart to a tee.
My criticism of the film would be that the story, while brilliant, is being told from the single retrospect of Alan Turing. The story becomes complicated by incorporating three different sides of his character; those from the past, present and future. Simply put, the audience is jumping from the past, to his future then all the way back to his pasts past, it may have been easier to have the story told in a progressive linear timeline rather than the fractured narrative that this film presents.
The film score by Alexandre Desplat works incredibly well alongside the film, people forget sometimes that the music can really define the tone of the film and illicit greater emotional responses from the audience when working with the visuals. It has this romantic quality to it, mingled with a melancholic tone due to Turing’s fate; even though he achieved so much he was still discriminated for being a homosexual and his suicide was forced upon him. At this point of course somebody had to shout out “What? So was that a true story then?” Yes, the subtitles before the credits explaining it was a true story should have been the clue.All in all, a serious contender for the much coveted Oscar.