FILM REVIEW | The Imitation Game

★★★★★ | The Imitation Game

Based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing, The Imitation Game portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team of code-breakers at Britain’s top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II.

Via a series of flashbacks, the film spans the key periods of Turing’s life, from his unhappy teenage years at boarding school and the triumph of his secret wartime work on the revolutionary electro-mechanical ‘Bombe’, which was capable of breaking 3,000 Enigma-generated naval codes a day, to the tragedy of his post-war decline, following his horrific and shocking conviction and subsequent enforced chemical castration just for having gay sex. Finally pardoned in 2013 by the Queen, for the ‘crime’ of carrying out homosexual acts that he was tried for in 1951, Alan Turing’s role was pivotal in winning the Second World War.

With such a fascinating story and a stellar cast (Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Mark Strong, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance) this is a film that is destined to be a major success. Already garnering critical acclaim, it’s not hard to see why. The script, period detail and performances are all exemplary. Cumberbatch is pitch perfect in his portrayal as Turing, portraying the strengths and vulnerabilities of a man with little social skills who is driven by his passion for his work and his intellect. He’s ably supported by Keira Knightley as the feisty Joan Clarke; a woman of great intellect who has to fight to the constraints of a society that devalues and oppresses women. Mark Strong as a particularly dashing MI6 agent and Matthew Goode as a fellow code-breaker, are equally strong.

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The script is actually very funny as well as being poignant and thrilling. This is a must see film of this autumn/winter.

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The Imitation Game is in cinemas from the 14th of November 2014

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About the author: Chris Bridges
Chris is a theatre and book obsessed Midlander who escaped to London. He’s usually to be found slumped in a seat in a darkened auditorium.