The Imitation Game is best described as a biopic, though it easily engages the viewer in the way a fictional film of any other genre might. Directed by Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game provides and extraordinary insight into the life of one of the greatest minds of the last 100 years: Alan Turing, the Englishman who cracked the ‘uncrackable’ Nazi Enigma code machine. The increasingly-popular Benedict Cumberbatch starred as Turing while Kiera Knigtley features as his female counterpart and Matthew Goode as a supporting genius. All actors performed exceptionally well, with Cumberbatch capturing the complexity of Turing and his relationships expertly, engaging the viewer whilst simultaneously alienating them, inspiring whilst terrifying.
One particularly admirable aspect of this film is Tyldum’s brutal depictions of World War Two. Though predominantly set in countryside England where Turing worked during the war, the film flips between locations, providing glimpses of the death and destruction that carried on while Turing struggles to crack the code. The film holds not torch to the ‘glory’ of the fight against the Nazis, regularly dunking the viewer in the statistics of war: the number of soldiers dying; the financial impact of fighting; the realities of the chain of command and just what the ‘greater good’ means to an individual. Tyldum has also ensured the concept of time is fluid, steering the viewer through key moments of Turing’s childhood and post-war, creating a layered narrative which draws the viewer in, establishes sympathy for Turing and adds depth to the actions of the characters.
The Imitation Game is an excellent and refreshing biographical film, revealing to the world the history behind the man who not only gave England the tools to end the war but who is also considered the grandfather of modern computers. The struggles and strengths of a genius are brilliantly portrayed in this film and will hold a viewer from start to finish.
4.5 stars out of 5.