|Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch, |
Matthew Goode and Alan Leech offer strong
ensemble work in The Imitation Game
It took until 2009 (ie after the stories of Bletchley had become known) for any government-authored apology and pardon process to begin, and Queen Elizabeth only enacted that pardon just last December, 2013. For nearly sixty years, Turing's extraordinary efforts to end the war were clouded in his official record by having picked-up a man. His security clearance was removed, his achievements rendered invisible. The cruelties of war were superseded by the cruelties of peace time - and a hero's honours are especially slim when their work has been clouded in a different kind of secrecy, one the government required. Alan Turing lived in constant shadows - largely of his government's making.
|Turing was arrogant and |
difficult but he was mostly very driven.
Cumberbatch doesn't just play that,
he illuminates it.
This non-linear structure works well and builds to an effectively moving climax that is satisfying emotionally on the level of character as much as it offers the famous breakthrough that led to the cracking of Enigma. It is sometimes very hard to create suspense with a story we all know the ending to, but Tyldum and Moore do it, in part by unpredictably shifting eras and offering insights to Turing's personality. We come to know him most deeply by the end, but he still remains something of a cipher himself. Even Joan Clark (played by Keira Knightley) who arguably understood him best, felt the blunted edges of his variable moods and states of mind from time to time. Even she couldn't always navigate his intense mood swings in the relentless pursuit of the machine that could break the Nazi machine and end the war. But, as the movie tells us several times, "sometimes it is the people whom no one imagines anything of, who do the things that no one can imagine."
My only fault with The Imitation Game is not enough to change its favour with me, but is significant. It's the premise the story hinges on. The conceit is an imagination that Turing told his whole story to a detective while being detained on the indecency charge.
|A scene from the 1950s era part of the storytelling.|
The intricate weaving of the three stories is
what gives the movie its depth.