Movie Title: The Imitation Game
Date Released: December 25th, 2014
Date Seen: January 29th, 2015
Seen with: Kim
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
This movie follows the story of Alan Turing trying to crack the WWII enigma code, while also showing us a bit of Turing’s personal life, as well. All in all, it’s a great movie. Despite the fact that you know the ending, you find yourself just as stressed out as Turing and his partners trying to figure out how to break this code. Each time that they fail to crack the code, or each time that a new discovery is made – you get just as nervous or excited at what’s going to happen now. I love when a movie based upon some history can manage to keep the viewer that engaged, despite already knowing the ending.
The acting was great. Benedict Cumberbatch was fantastic as Alan Turing. He fully deserves the best actor nominations he has received thus far for this performance (Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTA, SAG, etc.). It’s not like it comes as much of a shock though that Cumberbatch can play such a logical and direct character – considering how well he does in the BBC show Sherlock. But we do get to see a much more emotional side of Cumberbatch, that was very well done. I was surprised by Keira Knightley as Joan Clarke. I’m sometimes not a big fan of hers, but I thought she was great in this. There’s one scene where Joan and Alan are trying to convince Joan’s parents to let her go work at the “radio factory”, that was one of my favorite scenes between the two of them. Also, there’s a couple of rather emotional scenes between the two that I won’t ruin but were very well done. The side characters are also very well acted. Charles Dance maybe overdoes it a bit as Commander Denniston. Mark Strong as Stewart Menzies has the most hilarious combover, but does a fine job in the part. Alex Lawther as a young Alan Turing did a fantastic job – especially if you notice that he’s really only been in a couple of things before this (mostly shorts and a tv show episode). I hope he keeps acting because he did a fantastic job.
I liked that this movie focused on both the obvious, cracking of the code, as well as Turing’s life. We get to see Turing’s early years (with the abovementioned Alex Lawther) and how he got into cryptography. We also meet someone very important to him in his early years. We see the year before Turing’s death, and what actions led to his death. The movie ends with a strong message of how tragic it was that Turing died so young, seemingly due to his hormone therapy to “treat” his “disease” of homosexuality. It also mentions how many other people unfortunately went through this same “treatment”. It leaves you thinking about something – and I liked that. I also liked that this movie had a *bit* more science/math in it. It still wasn’t much, but compared to the pretty much complete lack of science in Theory of Everything, it was a bit more. Also though, I am a PhD in math, so perhaps not the best person to judge about whether there’s enough math/science in a movie (answer: never).
All in all, I very much enjoyed this movie. It keeps you engaged, despite the fact that you “know” the ending. It manages to take you through some funny moments, some very sad moments, some exciting/inspirational moments, and it was all around good to watch. It has rewatchability, was well shot, well-acted, and well-written.
Part 2 – In Depth/Spoiler Ridden Review
One minor annoyance – I didn’t mind the “Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of, who do the things no one can imagine” quote the first time. Hell, I didn’t mind it the second time either – it was a great time for it to pop back up. But, the last time it was said, by Joan to Alan, it was just kind of like “alright, really, freaking again?” I don’t think it really added anything to be said there, nor did it really need to be said to Turing. I just thought it was kind of cheesy.
Well acted, well shot, well written, moving story about the life of Alan Turing cracking the enigma code.