THE IMITATION GAME
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance
Directed By: Morten Tyldum
While the film was nominated in eight categories at the 2015 Academy Awards, it won just one award which went in the hands of screenwriter Graham Moore, who won the well-deserved Oscar for his efforts in recreating the life story of Alan Turing, the brilliant mathematician of the early 20th century whose work and research helped define the computer age. Part war drama, part spy thriller and part love story, the film has moments of triumph and on the other side tragedy.
Turing, brilliantly played by Benedict Cumberbatch, joins a top-secret British military program organized to decipher the secret of Germany’s famed message-coding machine, Enigma. This is the period of the World War II, when the genius arrives at Bletchley Park, Britain’s code-breaking centre, in 1939, to build a machine that can crack the Nazis’ Enigma code.
While his colleagues set about solving the problem through conventional means, Turing builds a machine that can crack any code at any time. The biopic also reveals the personal side of Turing’s unhappy school days and his relationship with his one-time fiancée, Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley), who later learns about Turing’s homosexuality, but remains with him to earn a spot on Turing’s codebreaking team. A memorable scene is at Turing’s school, when a friend encourages him to be himself, a friendship that resonates throughout Turing’s life.
Even after breaking Enigma, manipulating government secrets, to taking on a hidden Soviet spy, Turing’s team must filter what they learn from this job, lest their actions alert the Germans to redesign their machine and render Turing’s work meaningless. Turing is the sole man behind the machine, but he must also safeguard what he does, even though it means his associate is denied a chance of speaking to his family during the war.
Before the credits role, we learn that Turing tragically committed suicide in 1954 at the age of 41. Cumberbatch and Knightley give a stellar performance in bringing the story of Alan Turing to life.
— Verus Ferreira