London Film Festival 2014 – Day 1 Coverage – The Imitation Game – Review

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The Imitation Game will hopefully make a larger splash beyond possibly gaining an Oscar Nomination, as it is a wholly refreshing WWII tale and sheds light on a lesser known WWII hero, Alan Turing.

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, a genius British mathematician, who led the charge to crack the German Enigma code that helped the Allies win WWII. His achievements along with fellow scholars, mathematicians and intelligence officers continued but unfortunately, Turing suffers a great decline as his homosexual relationship is uncovered and he is arrested.

It seems almost impossible in 2014 to do a WWII movie that hasn’t looked at aspects that we’ve already seen before, but Morten Tyldum manages to construct this little known story in such an exhilarating manner, that you will never fail to entertain. Tyldum paces Turing’s story in such a natural manner, that witnessing his depressing days at boarding school to his glory days cracking codes in WWII to his arrest for indecency in 1952, that you never feel like you’re being dragged through this story.

Cumberbatch is no doubt the perfect Turing. When the film veers towards the melodramatic, Cumberbatch’s performance breathes an air of wit and charm into the film. Turing’s, dare I say, enigmatic personality feels truly uncovered throughout the course of this film and his chemistry with crossword genius Joan Clarke (played brilliantly by Keira Knightley) is delightful to watch. It’s a shame that these scenes are rare. But this is no severe issue: Cumberbatch bears the weight of this thriller on his back comfortably.

However little or much you care about Alan Turing, ‘The Imitation Game’ is a film that is sure to engross you. On reflection, one can note that it fulfils almost every criteria to make it Oscar bait. The liberal social elements are there and it’s undeniable that WWII pictures are huge award show crowd pleasers. ‘The Imitation Game’ is crafted so masterfully that this transition from mystery and suspense into emotional drama doesn’t feel calculated in the slightest. A perfect start to this year’s London Film Festival.


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