Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Imitation Game Review: Calculative and Complex

World War II is no stranger to the world of film. This war has been played out time and again in the world of cinema. With this point in time being popular on the silver screen, the best thing filmmakers can do is adapt new events for to give WWII a different perspective. The latest film has just done that. We see many movies about the war itself, but we rarely see films about events that took place behind the scenes of WWII; and that is what The Imitation Game is all about. The Imitation Game is about the work of Alan Turing and his machine that help break the German System known as The Enigma Code. For decades, Turing's work during the war remained a mystery until the Queen granted Turing a royal pardon as well as letting information on Alan Turing be revealed. From the biography by Andrew Hodges this film has hit theaters and it has been well received by critics everywhere. However,  impressing this Film Adventurer is another matter entirely, so does this historical thriller a film worth seeing?

The movie follows Alan Turing (portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch) during his career with the British Military. The story showcases several points in Turning's life; from his early childhood to his life after the war. The story structure to The Imitation Game was bit sporadic. It would jump between points in Turning's life and, in a way, the structure was reminiscent to David Fincher's Social Network. The shifting story was not a bad move.  Even though the movie would bounce around years, it story was still told in a linear fashion that in no way left me confused. I did not find the plot to be thrilling, though it certainly got more complex as time went by. When it came right down to it, I felt that the story of The Imitation Game is all about the Alan Turing and his struggles during World War II. The plot to The Imitation Game was a character driven story oppose to be one solely dealing with the conflict of war; but that is not to say that element was not present in this historical thriller.

As I stated, The Imitation Game is a character driven story, so the role of Alan Turing would need to be a lead that moviegoers could understand as well as follow. Thankfully the famous mathematician delivered in this factor. This depiction of Turing was indeed compelling. I could definitely understand Turing's mentality as well as his struggles through life and how they shaped him. Of course helping this characterization work was the performance of Benedict Cumberbatch. To say Cumberbatch had a solid role is usually a mute point for me, but Benedict certainly had a top tier performance as Alan Turing. The rest of the cast is also to be commended. Keira Knightley provided a great performance as Joan; as did Matthew Goode who play the role of Hugh Alexander. To help round things out were the supporting performances of Mark Strong and Charles Dance. While neither actor had a lot of screen time, both equally did their parts well and helped to round out this well formulated ensemble.
The cinematography for the film certainly fit the time period; with the exception of the war scenes. While these sequences were quick, the effects used in them were very distracting. Fortunately the film made up for its effects in  other areas of the cinematography. The film also featured a score by composer Alexandre Desplat. While the score was not the most dynamic of Desplat's music, the soundtrack was delightful as it featured a soothing sound in its meloday. Some technical elements were stronger then others, but these factors still managed encompass the idea behind the film.

The Imitation Game certainly lived up to its praise. While the film was not a breakout historical drama, it  still provided a solid experience with its compelling storytelling and terrific performance from Benedict Cumberbatch. The movie certainly captured a different perspective of WWII as well as showcased the intriguing career and life of Alan Turing.

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