The Imitation Game

Review: The Imitation Game

Benedict Cumberbatch has established himself as one of Britain’s most well-rounded actors. Best known for his role in “Sherlock”, Cumberbatch has brilliantly demonstrated his acting abilities on television, in cinemas, on the radio and on stage. However, the London-born star delivers one of his best performances to date in “The Imitation Game”.

Set during World War II, The Imitation Game combines elements of a biopic with a thriller to create a highly-engaging film that portrays Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) during three major stages of his life, all of which are intertwined throughout. Firstly, during his schoolboy years in the late 1920s where he fell in love with his best friend; his time at Bletchley Park where he, along with his team of code-breakers, attempt to encrypt Germany’s Enigma code and, finally, during the 1951 police investigation into his homosexuality – a crime that he is later convicted of.

Graham Moore has brilliantly adapted The Imitation Game’s screenplay from Andrew Hodges’ biography “Alan Turing: The Enigma”. While the script is by no means perfect, it certainly ticks all the right boxes. The pacing of the film makes it easily accessible and there’s a fair share of laughter, tears and thrills to keep viewers engaged from the outset.

However, you can’t help but feel the film plays it safe as Moore shies away from any homosexual encounters; instead choosing to predominantly focus on the relationship between Turing and his fiancée Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley).

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the relationship is brilliantly brought to life through two brilliant acting performances. Cumberbatch delivers each stutter and nuance with perfection, excellently portraying Turing’s awkward persona, as he fails to form connections with people, instead falling in love with the machine he created.

It’s this weakness to interact with others that makes Keira Knightley’s role so pivotal in the film. Despite playing a relatively minor part, Knightley brilliantly displays her acting talents as she adds elements of humanity and heart to the film. It would come as no surprise to see the duo being nominated for a number of awards on the back of The Imitation Game.