Underrated: The Imitation Game (2014) Review

4/5* Shiv’s Show | Siobhan Divers

Dir: Morten Tyldum

114 mins

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightly, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance, Mark Strong.

A beautifully-made yet quite tragic film about one of the most important people in British History.

With a stellar supporting cast and of course, the great Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead, The Imitation Game is a must-see film celebrating the extraordinary achievements of a real-life hero!

Starting in 1951, The Imitation Game begins at the end of the story – there has been a suspicious robbery in the home of Alan Turing which makes the police want to investigate him and his life fully.

Interspersing three main timelines – Turing’s school years, the Bletchley years and the aftermath, the film explores Turing’s career, his life achievements and his homosexuality.

The main part of the story however is the war effort – recruited by Commander Alistair Denniston (Charles Dance) in 1939, Turing joins a secret cryptography team in Bletchley Park which includes High Alexander (Matthew Goode), John Cairncross (Allen Leech) and Peter Hilton (Matthew Beard).

Their primary task – to decrypt the messages of the Enigma Machine.

Considering his colleagues inferior, he writes to Winston Churchill who puts him in charge of leading the team. Cambridge Graduate Joan Clarke (Keira Knightly) then joins the codebreakers after solving a crossword puzzle set by Turing quicker than he had.

The crux of the film then documents Alan Turing and his team of code-breakers as they race against time attempting to decode Germany’s Enigma Machine using a machine which Turing himself created during the darkest days of the second world war.

Cumberbatch proves without any doubt that he is more than capable of portraying an intellectual eccentric (again!) showing his character’s confidence yet his vulnerability throughout.

Although the ending is undeniably heart-breaking, the film should not be seen as a tragedy. Rather it is a celebration of Turing’s life and the amount of lives he saved through the creation of his decoding machine which he endearingly names Christopher.

An incredible and engrossing thriller and a worthy biopic of the complicated yet brilliant man, The Imitation Game is a well-made and well-cast film which documents the amazing work of an under-recognised but great British hero!

If you liked this, please read, like and comment on my other reviews here.

I also have a Letterboxd account where I post some short reviews of the most recent films I’ve seen.

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Siobhan x

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