Monday, July 6, 2015

Movie Review: The Imitation Game (2014)

Movie: The Imitation Game (2014)

Director: Morten Tyldum

Writer: Graham Moore (screenplay), Andrew Hodges (book)

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightly, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Mark Strong, Charles Dance, Allen Leach, & Matthew Beard

One-Line Plot Synopsis: The story of Alan Turing, a British mathematician who tries to break the enigma code during World War II.

The fact that I had never heard of Alan Turing before seeing this film made it all the more interesting to me while watching it.  I was completely unaware of the code-breaking and cracking of the enigma code that contributed so enormously to the defeat of the German army during World War II.

For those who aren't aware, the enigma code is the code that the Germans used in all of their communications and was considered an unbreakable code because of how intricate it was and the fact that the changed it every single day.  So, unless you had the decoder for the enigma code, it was a 100% fact that you couldn't crack it.

Director Morten Tyldum is extremely adept at being able to tell a complicated story and because of that, The Imitation Game flows very fluidly, even when touching on complex topics like theories in mathematics.  It also easily intertwines Turing's personal life within the story and doesn't treat his work with the enigma code and his sexuality as two separate things but rather two aspects of his life that make up the person who he is.  Sidenote, if you haven't seen Tyldum's film Headhunters, check it out, because it's fucking awesome.  I can't recommend Headhunters more highly (just FYI, in case some of you people don't dig on foreign films, it is in Danish).

Benedict Cumberbatch is fantastic in the lead role as Alan Turing and his Best Actor nomination was definitely well deserved.  He has that ability to really get across different dimensions of a character and show off the internal struggle someone has with external circumstances.  The film centers more on his mental struggle and his determination and stubbornness in trying to figure things out in his own way rather than his emotional struggle with trying to connect to people and fit in during a time period that was very unaccepting of different personality types and lifestyles.

With a deep and brilliant supporting cast including Keira Knightly, Mark Strong, Matthew Goode, and Charles Dance, this film shines from scene to scene and is able to build tension in a really unique way because there is no real element of action in the film but the build up in scenes is still tension-filled.  A very, very good film where you can learn something about History while you're at it.

Rating: 8/10

P.S. There's actually a show on Netflix called The Bletchley Circle that follows four British women who were involved in some of the code-breaking government departments that are depicted in The Imitation Game.  The seasons are only four episodes each but somehow go by really slowly with how much story they have to pack into each one.  The show is a pretty good but nothing that I would think of off the top of my head if someone asked me to recommend some shows that they could watch on Netflix.  I'd give it a 6.5/10.