The Imitation Game is everything you would expect from The Weinstein Company: a beautiful film of a story from a distinct viewpoint with stellar performances by its actors.
World War II is heavily underway and the British forces lay siege against the German military. Lives are being lost and there is no end in sight for the war. British secret intelligence hope to decrypt encoded communications from Nazi led Germany in order to gain leverage in the war. The code they use, the enigma code, is unbreakable. One needs to know the precise settings to read the encrypted messages and they change every day at 6am – with 159million-million-million potential enigma settings each morning.
The Royal British Army decides to hire cryptographers, mathematicians and logicians straight from university in the hopes that their superior intellect could beat enigma. Alan Turing, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is among those and the prodigious mathematician leads the fervent effort against the unbreakable enigma.
As a film, The Imitation Game is remarkable, beautiful and poignant. The plot is harmoniously multifaceted, simultaneously telling the story of young Turing, the war efforts against the Germans and enigma, and the tragic conclusion to Turing’s tale. The inherent cohesion within The Imitation Game is solely thanks to director Morten Tyldum. It is only with a clear vision that so many unique vantage points of one man’s life could converge into this miraculous narrative. Further, Tyldum’s film progresses at a fast pace to capture the viewer’s engagement and attention despite the dense intellectual subject material. This effect is facilitated by a captivating score by Alexandre Desplat.
The character role of Turing we find in Cumberbatch is not a new portrayal for the actor but it is the most delicate of his career. Cumberbatch brings the potentially off-putting personality of a genius with a superior aptitude for his craft and couples it with the social awkwardness of an emotionally strained man and levels it off at a less antagonistic and more endearingly realistic man.
The Weinstein Company’s The Imitation Game is just what you would expect from an Academy Award nominated film. It is breathtaking to watch but there are some points of improvement. The narrative seems unnecessarily dramatized and historically inaccurate, especially in regard to the double agent espionage subplot involving Turing.
Further, the conclusion as a whole seems a bit rushed. With the movie resorting to abrupt snapshot scenes to conclude Turing’s story rather than the smooth progression the viewer is accustomed to with the rest of the film.
The Imitation Game – Review