The Imitation Game Review: The other side of war

The Imitation Game

Rated: PG

Four out of five

Now showing

“SOMETIMES it is the people that no one imagines anything of, who do the things no one can imagine.”

The Imitation Game tells the story of mathematician and code breaker Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) who became a pioneer of modern day computers and made one of the biggest contributions to end the war against the Nazis. 

The film is loosely based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges.

The Imitation Game - trailer

Turing and a team of cryptologists are tasked with solving the most difficult problem in the world; deciphering a Nazi code to their attack plans, which changes daily.

It was estimated there were 159 million-million-million possible configurations, to be figured out every day among a group of mathematicians and code breakers.

As the team continues to fail solving the questions, Turing decides to build a machine which can break the code. 

But breaking the code is not the only puzzle Turing needs to solve; he must also solve how to work as a team with his fellow code breakers and get the others to agree that building this machine will work. 

Although this may seem like an easy task to most, he struggles with his personality. 

He attempts to hire more workers and meets Joan Clarke (Keira Knightly), an incredibly smart mathematician.

She tells him: “You’re going to need all the help you can get".

“And they are not going to help you if they do not like you.”

His character has similarities with Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory with his arrogance; he prefers to work alone and cannot understand jokes told by his fellow workers and friends.

When told the task is impossible he replies: “Let me try and we’ll know for sure”.

Cumberbatch does a brilliant job of portraying Turing.

Every little detail from the way he blinks and interacts to the way he runs makes it easy for the viewer to see the reality behind the character.

Turing has many other challenges, including battling against social norms such as being homosexual in a time where it is considered a crime – a battle which Clarke can relate to as she initially didn’t gain respect in her field as she was a woman.

The film jumps back and forwards in time to key moments from Turing’s life; his unhappy days of being bullied at school, his time working with the cryptologists and his post-war life.

The plot is quite complex as it features many different elements and smaller battles.

The Imitation Game is definitely worth a watch; whether it is for the brilliant display of acting or the intriguing must-know story behind it.

It also would interest anyone who wants to know what happened beyond the guns and tanks at war.


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