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The Imitation Game - Film Review

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by Jen (subscribe)
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Published January 5th 2015
Cracking the Enigma Code
the imitation game, film review, movie review, benedict cumberbatch, keira knightly, enigma, code breaking, matthew goode, rory kinnear, charles dance, allen leech
All images Black Bear Pictures and Bristol Automotive

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

This movie hardly needs reviewing the moment you know Benedict Cumberbatch is in the starring role. He plays highly complex man Alan Turing the British Mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led his team to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the allies win WWII. From start to finish Cumberbatch is faultless, intense and haunting in his portrayal of the brilliant complicated genius from his 'I don't play well with others' personality to the twitching shell of a character he becomes on hormone therapy.

In a nutshell this film is based on the real life story of Alan Turing and his brilliant team of code breakers in his nail biting race against time to crack the Enigma code in the darkest days of WWII. It took a man with secrets of his own to discover the secret of the Nazis that helped shorten the war by 2 years and in turn saved thousands of lives. You will gain insight into how British Intelligence and counter Intelligence works in the film and how more secrets are to be maintained and information withheld or given as considered appropriate. Playing God is what comes to mind and I have no doubt many will come out with thoughts of their own.

Until this film I doubt very much many knew about Alan Turing (23 June 1912 7 June 1954) or that he is considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.

Thanks to this film and Cumberbatch who has brought him back to life it was appalling for me to note that it took till 2013 for the Queen to grant him a posthumous pardon. Why so long? Homosexuality has been accepted many years before 2013. This relates to 1952 when Turing was prosecuted for homosexual acts when this was still criminalised in the UK. Instead of going to jail he accepted the alternative treatment of oestrogen injections which basically boils down to chemical castration. Two years later in 1954 he was dead 16 days before his 42nd birthday from cyanide poisoning. It was deemed a suicide while his mother and some others thought it accidental.

A replica of Turing's original machine is housed in the museum at Bletchley Park. Thanks to artistic licensing in the film the machine is made more cinematic by being made larger and having more of its inside mechanisms visible. I'm sure you don't need convincing to see this film. I give it an 8 out of 10 and Cumberbatch definitely deserves a 10 out of 10 for his performance.

CLICK HERE if you're interested in reading some trivia about the making of the film.

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Why? The story of Alan Turing, a key figure in cracking Nazi Germany's Enigma code
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