Some stories will always prove troublesome to translate to the big screen. Alan Turing’s tale is as strange as it is , and despite being one of the most important people in this nation’s history, his life was shrouded in mystery. Hi role during the war was only revealed decades after his death. A posthumous pardon from the Queen followed, but even to this day the pivotal role he played in the Allies winning the war isn’t widely known. Morten Tyldum’s film, The Imitation Game, aims to change that, and with such a stellar cast, it is likely attract a big audience.
Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a socially inept mathematics genius. He is summoned by Commander Denniston (Charles Dance) to a top secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park where he forms part of a team including Hugh (Matthew Goode), Peter (Matthew Beard) and John (Allen Leech) tasked with cracking the Enigma Code. Whilst the rest of the group persist with traditional methods of cryptology, Alan sets about building a machine to break the code. He drafts in Joan (Keira Knightley) to help, but they face a battle against time as the casualties continue to mount and the war turns against the Allied Forces.
The Imitation Game is an impressive achievement which does take a few liberties with the “facts” in order to tell a compelling tale. Cumberbatch will undoubtedly get the plaudits for an impressive performance but it does occasionally threatens to descend into comedy. However, it’s Keira Knightley’s Joan who is integral in lightening the tension and keeping the story flowing. Tyldum sometimes struggles with the tone and it feels rather contrived at times, but The Imitation Game is a powerful and entertaining film which reminds us how this country sometimes treats people who deviate from the norm.
The Imitation Game is out in cinemas now.