Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Imitation Game: Monday, December 22 2014

The Imitation Game is the best film I have seen in a long, long time. Beautifully crafted, it tells the story of Alan Turing with such a depth of understanding and compassion I found it exceedingly moving. I've always liked the work of Benedict Cumberpatch, but this role is his masterpiece. He brings Alan Turing alive in such a way I felt for him every time he was humiliated and thwarted. I knew the tragic end of his story, but was deeply saddened as I saw it played out. The film depicts, without spelling it out, the uncomfortable place homosexuals and women had in the pre-Second World War world. It is made quite clear why there had to be social change after that war.

The film is based on the biography, Alan Turing: The Enigma, by Andrew Hodges. Not having read the book, I can't comment on how it compares. The scriptwriter of the film, Graham Moore, did an excellent job in giving the characters life and a voice. The story is set into a specific time and place, and accurately brings alive the atmosphere of the Second World War in England. We experience the evacuation of the children from London, and the Blitz during which Nazi Germany bombed Britain nightly. The Battle of the Atlantic is also depicted, when the convoys of ships bringing food to Britain from North America were attacked by Nazi U-boats with great loss of life and ships. I found myself sorrowing over the great tragedy of war.

The film is a thriller, and the desperate need of finding the key to the code Nazi Germany's Enigma machine highly charges the film with tension. The code is vital to helping the Allies win the war. Although we know that the code will be cracked, it is fascinating to see how it was done. That Winston Churchill was so instrumental in bringing the quest to fruition, is something I didn't know.

Every member of the distinguished cast is perfect for the part they play. The director, Morten Tyldum, never strikes a wrong note. Altogether a masterpiece, this film is a classic. It is also deeply entertaining, in a totally satisfying way. John and I went to the early show on a Monday, and the cineplex was packed. Definitely a "must see"!

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