The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game ★★★½

The Second World War is the single greatest phenomenon in the history of mankind. No other event comes even marginally close to the impact World War II had on global scale for it not only altered the political & social structure around the world but also ended up enriching the fields of art, literature, films & television with countless events, so many that even after 70 years we’re still in the process of discovering entirely new things about it.

Now The Imitation Game doesn’t really bring anything new to the film canvas in that regard but it sheds more light on the unsung heroes whose wartime breakthroughs & contributions played a major role in changing the outcome of the last great war. The film tells the story of the legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing & his team of code-breakers racing against time to break the Nazi Germany's Enigma-encrypted codes in order to get ahead of their enemy.

Brilliantly directed by Morten Tyldum, the entire story is narrated in 3 overlapping plotlines, each covering a different stage of Turing's life, and is quite gripping when those elements align to work as one but then it also stumbles with its non-linear narration whenever it shifts from one timeline to another, which feels abrupt & intrusive. Graham Moore's screenplay wonderfully glosses over Turing's life & plays out many events in a pretty authentic manner.

Coming to technical aspects, Production Design team’s most notable work is the electro-mechanical bombe itself which Turing designed to decipher the Enigma-generated ciphers. Filming locations are wisely chosen to keep it as authentic as possible. Cinematography makes fine use of camera, neatly balances the colour hues & retains the image sharpness till the end. Editing is a mixed bag, while Alexandre Desplat once again delivers with a very fitting score.

As far as performances go, The Imitation Game features a reliable cast in Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Charles Dance & others, and the performances are definitely one of its stronger aspects. Leading from the front is Cumberbatch who is absolutely outstanding in the role of Alan Turing, Knightley is surprisingly good as Joan Clarke & the rest of the supporting cast also chip in with vital contributions to lift the story up by a great extent.

On an overall scale, The Imitation Game is an interesting portrait of an eccentric individual whose works have been highly influential in the fields of computer science & artificial intelligence, is a heartbreaking story of a misfit who never publicly received the credit for his game-changing wartime efforts, and is a critical view of one of United Kingdom's most disgraceful acts in the post-war era. Although this historical drama is no masterpiece, it's still engaging, entertaining & satisfying from start to finish, and is definitely worth a shot.

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