Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Film Review: "The Imitation Game" (2014).

"Sometimes it's the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine."
This is the soul of the man behind The Imitation Game. This historical drama thriller film directed by Morten Tyldum; adapted by Graham Moore; loosely based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. Based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing, the film 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.

For those who are not familiar with the historical figure, Alan Mathison Turing OBE FRS (23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) was a British pioneering computer scientist, mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and theoretical biologist. He was highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of algorithm and computation with the Turing machine. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. During the Second World War, Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park, Britain's codebreaking centre. There he led Hut 8, the section responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. He devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers, including improvements to the pre-war Polish bombe method and an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine. Turing played a pivotal role in cracking intercepted coded messages that enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis in many crucial engagements; it has been estimated that this work shortened the war in Europe by as many as two to four years. Turing was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts, when such behaviour was still a criminal act in the UK. He accepted treatment with DES as an alternative to prison. Turing died in 1954, 16 days before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning. An inquest determined his death as suicide. In 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brownmade an official public apology on behalf of the British government for "the appalling way he was treated". Queen Elizabeth II granted him a posthumous pardon in 2013.

The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kenner, Charles Dance and Mark Strong. The cast gave superb performances, especially Cumberbatch. Who brought an emotional heft and witty charm to his fictional counterpart. Giving a multi-layered portrayal to an already enigmatic figure.

Impeccably scripted, beautifully directed, and filled with fine performances, The Imitation Game is a riveting, ambitious example of classic filmmaking at its finest. The film has the rare quality of being not only as smart as its brilliant hero, but in the same way. It is cocksure, impatient, complex, exciting and instinctively perceptive. It is the movie of the year. But Tyldum and Moore triumph by taking it further. Lacing their scathing wit with an aching sadness, they define the human irony of the past decade.

Simon says The Imitation Game receives:

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