The Imitation Game (12A)

Directed by Morton Tyldem
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightly, Charles Dance, Matthew Goode, Allen Leech, Rory Kinnear, Mark Strong

This is the story of Alan Turing (Cumberbatch, the technological genius who played a huge role in helping to decode the German Enigma machine during World War II at Bletchley Park. Turing's story is made all the more tragic as after the war he was prosecuted for homosexual acts and forced to endure chemical castration in the 1950s. His death at the age of just 41 from either suicide or accidental poisoning added to the tragedy of his story. This film focuses on Turing's time at Bletchley and his relationship with Joan Clarke (Knightley) who battled sexism to become one of the few women codebreakers at Bletchley. She and Turing became close, and even became engaged - although she seemed to be aware of his sexuality.
The secrets of the codebreakers at Bletchley have been explored in a few books, TV shows and films in the last few years. Turing has rightly been lauded for the breakthroughs he made and has been called the father of modern computing for his ideas. This film does a pretty good job of telling the story. Cumberbatch is always watchable, although his performance is rather mannered. Knightley is very good, and there is a good supporting cast of Brits too. However, if you know anything about Alan Turing, there aren't many surprises in this by the numbers British costume drama, even one as well made as this. 7/10

November 2014.

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