The Imitation Game review by Michelle Sommerville - Cinema Paradiso
One of the most talked about new releases, The Imitation Game, is based on a true story, and adapted from the novel by Andrew Hodges: ‘Alan Turing: The Enigma’. It’s almost everything you could want from a film, and I’m not the only one to believe that.
The film focuses on Alan Turing, a cryptanalyst who, along with his team, must hurry to create a machine to break the Nazi German code. If they succeed, they will save many lives.
There was a time when the greatest war heroes were those that were in the trenches, on the battlefields, and inside the tanks. Of course they shouldn’t be forgotten, but, in following with societies fascination with cute, intelligent, men, we are shown that not every war hero was on the front lines.
As with any film based on real-life events, there are always going to be those who vehemently deny its content and contend it happened differently. I don’t know how much of this is true for this film - whether Turing was a leader, or gained most of his material from Poland scientists - but this film is focusing on Turing, and so will not turn down every other path.
As I’m sure everyone knows, Benedict Cumberbatch is a phenomenal actor. The way he dives into these many-layered characters is unbelievable, and the film would have been very different without him. Like the other characters tried to convince Cumberbatch’s Turing, it was a group accomplishment. Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, et cetera, all brought their A games as well; surely they knew it’d be a very popular project.
The technical aspects were also brilliant: the shot of the little children standing in their gas masks is one you can’t forget; the stunning visuals and realistic effects; the smart dialogue; and the engaging story.
The crew did a fantastic job at making everything look so authentic. Working with the visual effects department to match-up the bombed Britain with their constructed sets was flawless. The score was also beautiful and moving, recorded by a professional orchestra.
I don’t think there has been a year when we haven’t had a war film. The recent season has been very positive for these films, with The Imitation Game joining the likes of Unbroken, The Railway Man, Fury, and more. As we can see, the latter deals with the physical fighting, the middle two deal with the mental horrors of war, and this film shows the intellectual feats. It’s important for everyone to hear these true stories, and understand how much work and effort went into ending the war.
The film has received enormous praise from critics and audiences. It’s for those that love period pieces, war, and an emphasis on emotions. We do obviously see the action and destruction, but it’s not a shoot-em-up war epic.
Its mature content won’t make it appropriate for younger audience members, but it’s one that I recommend putting aside for when they are older. It’s an important part of history, and one that was performed brilliantly.