I mean look, the guy’s gonna have to dress up for so many awards shindigs in his career, we should probably just refer to him as Benedict Cumberbun.
“The Imitation Game” is the incredible true story of Alan Turing. A mathematician and logician who was at the center of developing a machine during World War 2 that could break the Nazi codes and might give the allies the advantage they needed to end the war quickly. Benedict Cumberbatch steps in to portray Turing, whose upbringing, intelligence, and homosexuality all played key roles in not only how his accomplishments were completed but how they would be received. It’s a fascinating look at a fascinating man, who amidst the pressures of war may have just invented the first computer. It really is an amazing story.
So much so in fact, that I really just want to tell you all the stuff that happens. About this moment and that, and how this impacted his life, and how incredible this one thing he did was. And I think that’s the sign of a really great “true story” tale, you want to pass it on. But this is one of the most expertly executed I’ve seen in a while, so I guess my role is to point you to the original story teller and let them shake it all out for you. And man do they do a great job. At the center of this is Cumberbatch who is phenomenal in portraying this complex genius in a way that is absolutely riveting. He not only captures the frustration that can come when others don’t see the revelations that you do, but the fear and insecurity hiding underneath from a youth filled with torment and tragedy. The movie even deals well with how the secrecy of the war project made his crowning achievement something most of the world wouldn’t even know about for half a century. It’s such a compelling tale and it’s told tightly and beautifully and even with a keen sense of humor. In fact, that may have been the best thing about it, the way the movie is genuinely, laugh out loud funny in a few moments, even when it doesn’t necessarily need to be to make it’s point. It’s a pretty amazing feat to pull off to have a movie this deep and
still this genuinely funny even when it doesn’t necessarily need to be to capture the audience, and man was I captured.
In fact, the only thing about the movie that actually didn’t work for me was Keira Knightley, not that she was awful of anything, but her character just didn’t feel as real and fleshed out as many of the others. Part of that is on her, but much of it may be due to the movie’s confusion at trying to find a different kind of love story for her and Turning, whose homosexuality was a key part of the story already. It makes many of those interactions feel shoehorned and false, and I think offer a distraction from the true energy of the film, which is found in the code breaking story itself.
When it comes down to it, “The Imitation Game” is an amazing story of an amazing man portrayed brilliantly by Benedict Cumberbatch. The story itself is so compelling and full of energy and humor that it easily presses past any slight missteps in periphery characters crack the code with a well earned A.