The Imitation Game Review
by E. Stevens
***** 5 Stars
‘The tragic ending leaves a lasting impression on the viewer and is a harsh reminder of the prejudice that thousands of people have faced throughout history.’
Director: Morten Tyldum
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode & Alex Lawther
Synopsis: Mathematician Alan Turing joins a team of cryptographers trying to break the Enigma code during the Second World War. Turing soon realises that the current method of trial and error is failing, and that it may take a machine to beat a machine.
The Imitation Game showcases arguably one of Benedict Cumberbatch’s best performances. His portrayal of the brilliant mathematician, who doesn’t exactly have a way with people, immediately entrances the viewer and helps to create an exquisite movie. Watching this film, you will be sucked into Turing’s journey to building a revolutionary machine that can break the Enigma’s code.
The story takes place over three different time frames, which runs the risk of confusing the audience, however Tyldum executes the time jumps in such a way that they work perfectly. The film opens in 1951, where two policemen begin to investigate Alan Turing over a break-in at his house. The main part of the film however, takes place at the height of the Second World War, when Turing joins a team of cryptographers working to break the Enigma code at Bletchley Park. Throughout this, Tyldum introduces various flashbacks to Turing’s youth, revealing how he first became interested in cryptography, as well as him discovering his homosexuality.
Keira Knightley also gives an amazing performance as Cambridge graduate Joan Clarke. Turing is introduced to her when he starts to seek replacement cryptographers, by setting them various puzzles. Turing expects no one to be able to solve the second puzzle in under six minutes, as it takes him eight, but Joan proves him wrong and starts work at Bletchley Park. Turing’s homosexuality is soon revealed, but in order to allow Joan to remain at Bletchley, he must get engaged to her. However, he later begins to have doubts if his decision was the right one.
The final scene is arguably the best out of the entire movie. It is completely heart-breaking, as we see Turing near the end of his life in the 1950s, having been treated inhumanely as a result of his homosexuality being exposed. Joan Clarke visits him, and is shocked at his condition and the pair proceed to have one of the most emotional scenes I have ever seen. The tragic ending leaves a lasting impression on the viewer and is a harsh reminder of the prejudice that thousands of people have faced throughout history.
The Imitation Game is currently available on Prime Video and was rated 12 by the BBFC.