“The Imitation Game” Review
The brilliant movie “The Imitation Game,” based on the book “Alan Turing: The Enigma” by Andrew Hodges, directed by Morten Tyldum tells of a story that was kept secret from America for just about 50 years. This movie was nominated for eight Oscars, five Golden Globes, eight BAFTA Awards and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. “The Imitation Game” won second place for top 10 films in 2014 from the AAFCA Awards.
Screen Actors Guild award and Academy Award nominee and winner of the Hollywood Film Award for Actor of the year, Benedict Cumberbatch, plays Alan Turing. Other Guild nominee for best supporting actress Keira Knightley played Joan Clarke. This cinematic experience makes for one heck of a history lesson (in a great way.) The acting and directing fit together so satisfyingly with great finesse while conveying such an inspiring and moving story. Although the length of it can be tiresome, every minute is very important to the story. That’s why at the beginning of the film, Alan – being the narrator – asks, “Are you paying attention?”
Cumberbatch has done some phenomenal work like in “Star Trek Edge of Darkness” or the role of a 21st century of Sherlock in the british series “Sherlock.” But this role in “The Imitation Game” may very well be his best yet. And he is most known for putting his soul into each role, giving more than believable emotional performances, which gives this cinematic experience a few tear-jerking scenes. The powerful feelings of perseverance and friendship and love and hope that radiate from this film will most definitely warm the heart. It’s so surprising that this is all based on a true story, with fiction-like plot twists and events.
As far as the direction goes, Morten Tyldum does an excellent job at making the seriousness and emotional aspects of this masterpiece a key factor at keeping the audience at the edge of their seats filled with suspicion and astonishment of the behaviors of these real-life characters. Often times one forgets that this is all based on a true story.
Alan Turing is the reason for America’s victory of the World War II. He alone is reason we solved the “Enigma.” The “Enigma” is, well, was a puzzle the Nazis used to communicate. The Enigma machine is a machine of spook hardware created by a German, which was then smuggled from Burlin into Britain so that Britain’s codebreakers could use it to decipher German signals during World War Two. In order to solve the codes one needed a key to put the gibberish into actual words and sentences. But what made this deciphering harder was that the Germans changed the key every day precisely at midnight. So when the clock struck midnight on German time, all of the day’s work would be useless and the codebreakers would have to start fresh all over again, every day. In order to solve this puzzle and win the war, Commander Denniston and Stewart Menzies resorted to recruiting a group of the best mathematicians in Britain to help solve this Top Secret Mission. Alan Turing, the best mathematician in the world, had the brilliant idea to build a machine that would work much faster than they would and solve the codes in time well before the stroke of midnight. What better way to beat a machine, with another machine? There were a few problems though. Turing needed about $100,000 the invest into making this machine. And to top it off, everyone else in the team thought he was just deliberately wasting time, and didn’t even bother helping or supporting him because he lacked the social skills to build a relationship with the rest of the crew.
Another important value this story portrays is feminism. When they need to hire another codebreaker, they end up hiring mathematician Joan Clarke. This is a great achievement in the story in particular because of the attitude toward women at the time. They were seen only useful as housewives and secretaries. She solved the puzzle she was assigned faster than Alan and the other male candidates in the testing room. Knightley plays her as a strong and intelligent woman, something many movies lack. That was funny considering she was based on a real life character.
After some very fortunate events, they ended up solving the Enigma. If it weren’t for Turing, the war would’ve been about two more years longer than it was and 14 million more people could’ve been dead during that time.
This film not only tells of an heroic and triumphant war story, or that being unique and having perseverance and friends can help win a war – figuratively or literally – but at the same time teaches that there may very well be other secrets the government is keeping from the public. Many things may not be what they seem. But are some secrets better kept secret until the public is ready to hear it?
It also shows that gay love ultimately won the World War II. But in order to learn about that, consider seeing the five out of five star movie, now playing everywhere.
By Alyssa Lopez