London Film Festival – Review: The Imitation Game

‘Some times it is the people that no one imagine anything of that do the things no one can imagine‘- And so it turns out the first computer was invented by a gay man and christened Christopher….Not the first thing that springs to mind when we evaluate how we won the Second World War. However The Imitation Game is just that- a beautifully British drama  that tells the previously untold story of how the code was cracked to save our souls… or cut down the war by two years at least- either way everyone’s a winner.

im game

Morten Tyldum’s second film to enter the London Film Festival brings us success and suspense as we are invited to witness the tale of Alan Turning as he leads the team to crack the German Enigma code.  An engrossing film that alternates between three specific points of Turning’s life,  the nail biting race against the clock as he and his team fight to break Enigma at Bletchley Park, the interrogation following his arrest in 1952 for gross indecency for crimes of ‘homosexuality’ and his early life at Sherbone school for boys in which his intelligence grows and love blossoms for a boy name Christopher.

The film lacks a sense of conflict and resolution, there is no cat and mouse like battle as thanks to GCSE History we all know where we are headed from the off; but what really makes this film is the individual dramatic portrayals.  Benedict Cumberbatch as the socially alienated master mind of Alan Turning delivers a performance full of depth and believability which is arguably his best yet. The script is clever, playing on Turning’s accidental social incompetence for laughs  with Keira Knightly as the pioneering Joan Clark, demonstrating with sensitivity a woman that was very much ahead of her time, a genius initially held back from her career by gender and judged for being an unmarried 25 year old woman despite her double first mathematics degree and enticing persona.

Alongside this, the enticing feature has the underlying subtext of feminism and sexuality demonstrating the stark inequality for women of that time not to mention the persecution of homosexual men. However, that aside if you are looking for a traditional war flick filled with the beauty of  British stiff upper lip and ‘keep calm and carry on’ Blighty, The Imitation Game is just your ticket…

The Imitation Game hits UK cinemas November 14th- In the mean time check out the trailer: