“The Imitation Game”: not all those who win are victors

Let me point out Dumbo. This was one hell of a good movie. 

The Imitation Game recounts the true story of Alan Turing, a professor and mathematician who, between the years of 1939 and 1941, worked with a group of cryptographers to crack Enigma, a communication device made of undecipherable codes used by the Germans during the war against Britain. The film takes a look into Turing’s formative years and his personal life both in the past and during the present period of the movie.
Anchored by a talented cast, The Imitation Game stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing, Matthew Goode as fellow code breaker Hugh Alexander, and the ubiquitous Kiera Knightley as Joan Clarke, another of Turing’s cohorts. 

Cumberbatch does a superb job portraying Turing in what is undoubtedly his best performance to date. He was able to convey the subtle intricacies and small character nuances of Turing’s personality. The role provides him with a huge emotional range that allows him to showcase genuine human happiness, and demands he dig deep and drain himself — and the audience — emotionally. What was truly heart-warming, however, was Newcomer Alex Lawther‘s performance as a young Turing. The up-and-coming actor gives it his all to produce one of the most heart-wrenching scenes of the movie and, in fact, of the year. 

A very grown-up Matthew Goode delivers a good performance, but there is nothing about it that makes it seem like the role was unique to him. To me, he was replacable, unlike his costars. Again, this is not to say that he doesn’t do a good job.

As for Knightley, she delivers a great performance as expected. The actress shines as a strong female voice in the film and conveys her character’s need to break free from the stereotypes imposed on her by her society and as a devoted lover.

What I loved about this movie was that it kept me glued to the screen for the entirety of its two hour run. Whether it was my curiosity about Turing’s life as a kid, the possibility of a spy in the midst of the code crackers, or the mystery behind Enigma itself, I was never bored. That said, the first hour did drag a little bit at very rare times, but that’s only expected when a plot is as layered as the one in The Imitation Game. It was interesting, thrilling, quirky, and heart-breaking.

Another aspect I found great was the score. The non-diegetic music was a perfect fit for the film; it captured both the science and the emotion of the film. Moreover, the script was pleasantly engaging. It showcased the quirkiness, passion, love, and genius of Turing quite effectively. I found myself getting chills every now and then.

Towards the end of the movie, the theme of homosexuality is highlighted. And while I love the depiction of it in the film, I think the transition from Enigma to homosexuality was a rather rough one. It felt like the storyline of Enigma was ended in a rush and the next was brought on and shoved at the end, even though a big revelation is made in the concluding scenes of the movie pertaining to Turing and his role in the war through Enigma.

In its essence, The Imitation Game is a depiction of ultimate loss, of loss without closure and what that does to a person, the void feeling we can be left with when a part of our life just stops; disappears. It’s a beautiful portrayal that highlights a soul and life deserving of praise and admiration, with a heart-breaking story in the heart of it all, one that the audience — and Turing — long to complete, but never do. Do I recommend this film? Absolutely. One of the year’s best. Don’t miss this captivating story.

Let me know what you thought!

RATING: 81/100

Image Sources: variety.com, metacritic.com, yahoo.com, watermarkonline.com, thetimes.co.uk

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