Directed by Morten Tyldum
Based on the novel Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges
Screenplay by Graham Moore
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance
In the midst of World War II, Alan Turing (Cumberbatch) is leading the effort to break the German Enigma code. His efforts are hindered by politics, conflicts within his team, and his own demons.
The Imitation Game is based on the novel “Alan Turing: The Enigma” by Andrew Hodges (Breaking the Code). The screenplay was adapted by Graham Moore (The Waiting Room), and the film was directed by Morten Tyldum (Headhunters). The cast for this movie features some big names. Perhaps none of the names is bigger than Benedict Cumberbatch (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug). Alongside Cumberbatch, the cast also features some other big names. Keira Knightley (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit), Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes), and Rory Kinnear (Skyfall) are also featured. The cast is rounded out with Matthew Goode (A Single Man) and Charles Dance (Scoop).
This is a wonderful story. The writing works on developing characters in a series of events that span several decades. The real depth of this story is unveiled in small pieces that allow the drama to set in. The characters are all interesting and unique in their development. The dialogue is powerful, and the film avoids the lengthy and unnecessary monologues that sometimes come with films like this. While the drama of breaking the code is central to the story, I appreciate the way that the war is not forgotten. It would’ve been easy to set the bigger picture aside for all of the great drama of this small segment of the war. Overall, this story does everything I hoped it would.
The acting in this film is wonderful from all of the cast members. Benedict Cumberbatch leads the way with an impressive performance. His role definitely seems to bring out something special with a wide range of challenging scenes. Throughout the film he’s asked to work a wide range of emotions that make for wonderful moments. I think this might be his best work to date. He’s surrounded by talent in this film as well. Keira Knightley is also good in this one. She has a challenging role and pulls it off nicely. Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear, Matthew Goode, and Charles Dance all do nice work as well. This film asked a lot from the stars, and they each delivered. While this film is about World War II, it’s also about individuals and their sacrifices during the war. The actors all seemed to understand it, and it shows throughout the film.
This movie features a combination of elements that make it look great. The camera work, costumes, and set design all work in concert with one another. The movie also has a nice score to go along with the visuals. Composer Alexandre Desplat (Argo) did wonderful work creating the moods through his music. Each of these elements seems to add to the overall quality of this great movie.
I’m sure that some people will end up debating the historical accuracy of this movie. It seems to happen any time that we have a film about real events. I didn’t even bother with that side of things. When a film is good, I don’t really care about the petty arguments people come up with. If you’re a fan of any of the actors in this movie you should check this one out. I would also suggest this one to fans of war movies or great historical dramas. I hope to see this one among the list of award winners this Spring. I give this one 4.6 out of 5 stars.