The Imitation Game (2014)

Touching Performance of a Fascinating Story10/10

The Imitation Game is based on the true story of Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), a cryptanalyst who became employed by the British Government during World War II to attempt to crack the notorious code machine that the Germans are using to send messages. Socially retracted, Turing struggles to work within his assigned team and instead chooses to work on Enigma, a machine of his own design that he believes will finally crack the code and help stop the war.

I really enjoy documentary style films and was really drawn to the story as I didn’t know much about the life of Alan Turing. His story is fascinating and tragic and the style of the film feels really quite personal and intimate, focusing a lot on the emotional and psychological aspects of his life as much as his work creating Enigma. Benedict Cumberbatch is one of my most admired actors and I feel he really shines in this style of film, much like he did in The Fifth Estate (2013). He’s such an accomplished actor that he brings an extra dimension of personality to the roles of these real life stories and he was absolutely the right choice for Turing, he is capable of offering the right amount of sensitivity that makes you warm to the character, and also excels at acting the socially awkward role without making it feel forced and fake. Cumberbatch was completely the right choice for the lead in this film and I’m really excited to see who’s story he will offer us next. There are a fair few other famous faces making up the rest of the small cast who all compliment the story well and enhance the character of Turing, but most notably I really warmed to Keira Knightly as Joan Clarke, the only woman in the team who not only brings a strong character to the mix but also a softer side that works really well with Cumberbatch and is particularly key towards the end of the film. It would be great to see the two of them work together in another film in future.

The Imitation Game is a beautifully well done film, with Benedict Cumberbatch offering a touching performance in this fascinating story. Regardless of how much you already know about Alan Turing’s story this film is well worth a watch, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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2 thoughts on “The Imitation Game (2014)

  1. I was glad you liked this Claire, as it is a moving true story that needs to be told properly. I want to like it, but I was worried about the almost ‘obvious’ casting of Cumberbatch (who I generally like) in a role that could almost have been written for him. It seems to have worked though, as everyone is praising his performance, so i will look forward to seeing it.
    If you want to explore, there was a good effort by BBC Films with the marvellous Derek Jacobi. Here’s a link. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115749/
    There is also a fictional film about Bletchley from the Robert Harris book, which isn’t about Turing, but is quite good. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enigma_%282001_film%29
    Nice to have you back!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Hi Pete, I agree that it is a fairly classic role in terms of the work from Cumberbatch but I think such an important story requires an actor with a perfect fit to the character. Thanks for the links, the film has definitely caught my interest in learning more about the story!

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