Thursday, 20 November 2014
Review : The Imitation Game
The life story of an English mathematician and logician, Alan Turing, who intends to help crack the Enigma code during World War II.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, in this thoroughly entertaining thriller film, which involves a group of clever mathematicians and logicians coming together for the same reason, to crack the Enigma code. The Enigma code of course being an anonymous code which the Germans used during the second world war, cracking the code, the British government would be able to know what the German's were planning giving Britain the upper hand. That's basically it.
Into this simplicity, Benedict Cumberbatch gives an incredibly convincing and astonishing performance as Alan Turing, allow the viewer to get an insight into the life of this man, and how valuable he was to cracking the enigma code and in turn, helping the British government to win World War II. After all, the concept of using a machine against machine, did come from him.
The film is constructed so that your not concentrating on just one thing, It's a bit of a jumble, you start off in 1951, then go back to 1939, then to 1940/41, then to life time at School and the film coagulates around these time zones. From the first shot of Cumberbatch on screen, his voice over plays in the background. He said something intriguing which was 'make sure you're paying attention throughout, if you choose to be here remember you're here because you chose to be here'. I was thinking, perhaps we will receive a clever twist in the end which I never would see coming, we didn't. Which is a shame, I would of liked to have got some payback at the end, however throughout the whole course of progression, a voice over would only pop up occasionally, which doesn't bother me so much.
Every scene is out of sequence, with this and a bit of a time jump between each period of Turing's lifetime, but it all is very clear and has value for being there, so there's no cause for confusion. It's all clear, and well explained in the film.
The Cast for 'Imitation Game' I thought was very touch and go. There were some members of the cast which the director hit the nail on the head and were absolutely right to cast : Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, Charles Dance, Matthew Goode and Allen Leech. Who are all brilliant, and give good, convincing performances.
And then you have inaccurate casting like Keira Knightly, now I don't mind Keira Knightly as an actress, I think she's very touch and go. There are some films she has been in which aren't very good but are not necessarily her fault that they are bad. In 'Imitation Game' she plays posh toff Joan Clarke, who Alan grows a liking for, so much to no surprise he proposes to her. That to me is just like 'the leading man, gets the pretty girl' type cliche thing. I question, was she cast because she is pretty? I mean it would makes sense in communicating to an audience, I can pick out at least two actresses who I think could of done it better. I won't name names, but I wouldn't say that Keira Knightly was inspired casting for this film. I wouldn't highly rate her, but I would say that she is good in it. Her accent is a bit strange though, she sounds like Joanna Lumley.
As a film. I will judge it on it's merits of : Is it educational? Yes, it teaches an audience about a very special man who without his help, the war would of lasted for at least another 2 years and he saved over 40 million lives. Does it achieve good drama? Yes, I would say so, there are good moments in there. Benedict Cumberbatch in perticular has some clever, snappy one liners against Charles Dances's character.
The film is surprisingly quite funny in places, it's not a comedy but there a bits at the beginning which are funny and show off Turing as being a whitty smart arse, but offer sharpe humour to lighten the mood. I laughed a little.
Overall, I think 'The Imitation Game' comes down to the success of three people. It's Alan Turning 'because without him and his efforts you wouldn't have a book and indeed a film', It's the merits of the director Morten Tyldum and of course it's Benedict Cumberbacth who is brilliant. 8/10.
NEXT : The Equalizer