The Imitation Game (2014)

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An insightful and engaging spotlight on the life of Alan Turing. The real and extraordinary story of the work at Bletchley Park in breaking the enigma code.

Beware the following will contain plot detail.

With a snazzy, trendy and attention-grabbing title you would be excused for not making the link between The Imitation Game (TIG) and codebreaking during World War 2. Focusing on the life of Alan Turing (Cumberbatch), one of the fathers of computer science, this is an eye-opener into one of history’s most remarkable minds and what goes on behind the scenes in government intelligence.

The plot summary reads similar to a short biography about Alan Turing featuring his childhood, later arrest and, most intriguingly, his life at Bletchley Park. To give context, during World War 2 the Nazis encoded their messages to be unreadable in the event of interception. Like the Titanic, which was thought to be unsinkable, the Nazis’ code named Enigma was thought to be unbreakable. Over the years, the team at Bletchley Park headed by Turing took on this seemingly insurmountable challenge under the intense pressure that comes with wartime. This is plenty of material to make a film out of as it’s not often we have a real-life story of good versus evil, but in addition, Turing was a homosexual at a time when it was a chargeable offence. TIG explores this tastefully as well as his relationship with Clarke (Knightley), his fiancée, and Commander Denniston (Dance).

As with all biopics, there’s a level of overdramatization and stretching of the truth but nothing in TIG appears too implausible.  As for the code breaking, it isn’t exactly a spectator sport though that is not to say this is a mundane affair. There are layers of well-crafted drama wrapped up within what is a thought-provoking film. Both the supporting soundtrack and visuals add some glamour and the acting from the A-list cast is solid. Every now and again come films that rely on the “based on a true story” trope. This is no exception but it is more than that, it’s the story of triumph in the face of adversity.

 

 

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