While The Imitation Game, the latest film from Morten Tyldum, may be a limited release film; it is a film that is worth traveling to see. Equally part historical drama and biopic, Tyldum’s cinematic piece is every history buff’s film fantasy. But, mass audiences everywhere are also sure to enjoy this moving film-even if it requires brushing up one one’s World War II knowledge.
The Imitation Game tells the thrilling and fascinating story of Alan Turing; the genius mathematician responsible for creating the machine that cracked the Germans’ communication codes during World War II. Named after Turing’s childhood friend, Christopher, the machine helped intercept secret messages between Nazi forces allowing for the Allies to successfully respond to the particular attacks needed to win the war. The nearly two-hour long drama gives audience a detailed look at the struggles Turing and his team of linguists and mathematicians faced with not only the conception of the machine but also the role they each played in the war. The film also functions as a biopic, allowing for a brief glimpse at Turing’s troubled childhood at a boarding school, his struggle with concealing his homosexuality and the personal trials he faced in creating what was essentially the world’s first computer.
Despite the film’s lengthy run time, The Imitation Game remains exciting, propelling, mildly comedic and historically accurate due to Graham Moore’s brilliant screenplay and the film’s all-star cast.
Sherlock favorite Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, and like most of the actor’s credits, he does so exceptionally. One can tell that his every move, tick and inflection was well thought out and predetermined and he masters the art of both comedy and drama, delivering hilarious one-liners and emotionally charged monologues throughout. Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean) shines as Joan Clark, the headstrong female mathematician who acts not only as Turing’s partner but also poses as his fiancé in order to hide his homosexuality. Knightley and Cumberbatch play beautifully off of each other and both performers are well suited for their respective roles. I personally wouldn’t be surprised if film-goers begin to crave more films starring these two leading players as they match each other in both talent and style.
The film also has a fantastic supporting cast including Matthew Goode (Watchmen) as Hugh Alexander, Turing’s “frenemy” who continues to support Turing’s invention despite he and Turing’s personal differences. Charles Dance (Game of Thrones) gives a noteworthy performance as Commander Denniston, the harsh military leader responsible for hiring Turing.
As if the film’s cast and screenplay weren’t wonderful enough, Alexandre Desplat’s (Harry Potter, Twilight Saga) breathtaking score certainly sets and finalizes the dramatic tone for this 1940s period piece.
Bottom Line: It wasn’t until the past thirty years or so, that the world came to know of Turing and his computer, so to finally have this story brought to life on the big screen is a cinematic journey that is definitely worth taking.
Mallory Delchamp is a writer, model, and performer living in Manhattan. You can routinely read her film and music reviews here on Pop-Break and you can also check out her work on zumic.com and nytheatreguide.com. A social media and pop culture enthusiast, Mallory also enjoys musical theatre, superhero films, and drinking coffee. You can visit Mallory at her website, www.mallorydelchamp.com