MOVIE REVIEW: “The Imitation Game” stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness, Black Mass), Keira Knightley (Begin Again, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest), Mark Strong (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Rory Kinnear (Spectre, Penny Dreadful [TV series]), Matthew Goode (Watchmen, Match Point), Allen Leech (Downton Abbey [TV series], Grand Piano), Matthew Beard (An Education, One Day), and Charles Dance (Last Action Hero, Gosford Park). It is directed by Morten Tyldum (Headhunters, Buddy) and is written by Graham Moore (The Waiting Room [short], Pirates vs. Ninjas [short]). Based on a true story, this film follows Alan Turing (Cumberbatch), and his team of British mathematicians who try to solve the German communication machine, Enigma. All of German Intel goes through Enigma and it is considered impossible to decrypt since its settings change everyday. It is a task that could win us World War II- one that Turing was born to accomplish.
This film was one that I had owned for quite some time, but never got around to watching. Judging by all the praise it got during the Oscar season, it seemed to be quite an interesting release to delve into. I was skeptical of it, however, because of how I read/heard that it discussed more on the issue of gay rights than it did about building the first computer. I don’t want to go into full detail about how I feel on the matter (because this is about the film, not my beliefs), but I will say that when I want to see a movie about how the British cracked Enigma by building a computer, I want to see a film of just that. Not about anything else that seems to be protruding obnoxiously into the storyline. With that out-of-the-way, for now, let’s discuss this film. Overall, the story was deeply intriguing. I’m always fascinated by history, and this plot was something to marvel at. Of course, some of you may think of Apple as the first computer, but that was mainly the first personal computer. This one that the British used didn’t have a screen, mouse, or keyboard. It was simply just a mass of dials and wires that would spit out a decrypted code, which the British would use to figure out the Germans’ messages. It’s a factor to what won us World War II, and I was interested the whole way through. If you aren’t into heavy dialogue, this may not be the film for you, as it is basically all talk. It was greatly written though, or otherwise I would have fallen asleep. The characterization of these figures was phenomenal, and their actors did a terrific job. Benedict Cumberbatch never ceases to amaze me, and he did a fantastic performance. Keira Knightley also did well, and this was another good addition to her profile after reviewing her film, “Begin Again.” Along with the acting came amazing cinematography. The landscapes, colors, and tones of this release was a sight to see. It’s what you would expect from a movie produced by BBC. Seeing Britain back in the late 20s to early 50s was nice, as I always like to take a step back in time when watching a film. This flick was so brilliantly crafted, and it would’ve been better if it wasn’t for my only complaint: it became another story towards the end. An hour in, this release was strong. It was making great pace and was doing so well, until it slipped off into a different subject. That subject? The mistreatment of gay people. It’s such an odd thing to pull out of a story like this one, but in some ways it was justified since this was centered on Benedict Cumberbatch’s character, who was gay. They hinted at it for some time in the beginning, but it didn’t bother me until it pulled itself into the spotlight. I don’t mean to offend anybody, but I am rather sick of how movies nowadays need to center on the obtaining of rights from people in order to achieve awards. Such a great script like this one shouldn’t be bombarded with the annoyance of how Alan Turing is gay and we should feel sorry for him. I wanted to see how his machine won us the war, not his personal struggle with being different and wanting acceptance. By the end, it became a different story, with the end title cards talking mostly about how he was gay and how gay people were mistreated during this time. Only one of them mentioned the Enigma machine and how we won the war. Call me what you want, unfollow me if you wish, but this is what I think. It’s not a matter of principle, but what makes a story work. And that aspect of the movie felt obtrusive. So, in the end, this was a well-crafted film. It had brilliant acting, cinematography, and an interesting subject to start with. If it didn’t become something different towards the end, it would’ve been better. FINAL SCORE: 81%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: