The Imitation Game (2014) Review

Sometimes it’s the very people no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine.

You may enjoy this if:
– You are fascinated by WW2 history
– You enjoy supporting gay rights

You won’t enjoy this if:
– You want a likeable main character

This one could have mixed opinions. It caries a sophisticated, British tone, full of posh accents and proud intellectuals, if not a little bland. However, not all is as it seems with The Imitation Game. Based on the Andrew Hodges book, Alan Turing: The Enigma.

Keeping the audience on their toes is a minor plot twist or two, and generally the film is engaging. But, after watching the trailer, one goes in expecting to see a World War 2 drama about cracking enigma. And that is how it begins. But eventually it slowly descends into a sympathy letter to homosexuals. The trailer does not mention that – perhaps they knew they’d lose ticket sales if they did.

Some may consider it slightly distasteful, the way it plays music while displaying shots of clever people doing crosswords in between bombs dropping and people dying. Also, toward they end the protagonists begin to decide which innocent people to let die and which to save, and whether this really happened or not, I’m unsure how to feel about that moral dilemma. Closer and closer to the credits, they attempt to impose their silly philosophies on the audience (like in World’s End), so if you’re not ready for an earful of that then perhaps give this one a miss.

The ending, too, is for me slightly unsatisfying and leaves something to be desired, because one might expect it to be triumphant in every way and it is not, relationship-wise or emotionally.

Now, I cannot comment on the historical accuracy of the film but, like most films, it likely gets the major facts right and stops right about there, showing characters in the way they wish to. Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) is the protagonist, a rather unpleasant character like Sherlock or Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory, not caring for others or valuing their feelings. If you still like Alan after finding out he paid a young man to have sex with him, you’ll really lose any attachment to him when he admits to using his fiancée, Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley), and not wanting to marry her at all. The character is well enough played, however, by Cumberbatch, who appears to have a knack for drama.

Joan Clarke comes across much better, and is very endearingly personified by Knightley, a fine casting choice. The remainder of the characters are forgetful enough, and you won’t remember their names by the end.

If The Imitation Game stuck to its premise of being a gritty war drama about the British efforts to solve the enigma code, then this could have been a treasure. Unfortunately it is a love letter to homosexuals and chooses to focus on that instead, with an ending that drags it down yet further. The sole thing, aside from Keira Knightley, holding The Imitation Game up us the dramatic thriller that still manages to shine through in parts. After missing what is expected of it by some distance, I do advise that you may be disappointed, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *