Monday, 19 January 2015

Computers Won The War

The biopic. The film that dramatically portrays the life of a true person. This stage of fame is only reached by the truly revolutionary. From Johnny Cash to the Queen to Jesus, those figures who influence our world are almost doomed to be immortalised in film; better hope the film that does it is not a flop! This is the story of a man whose great successes were secrets until after long after his death - Alan Turing. This is The Imitation Game.

War in Europe has broken out for a second time. The Germans communicate through coded messages, encrypted by an Enigma machine. The machine is programmed daily to a different setting making it nigh on impossible to crack the messages. One secret team are hired by MI6, and other military personnel to attempt to beat the Enigma, and amongst that team is Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) who believes that the way to beat a machine, is with a machine. As the war death toll mounts, the Germans March forward, and the war seems never ending, the pressure mounts on the Enigma team, Beat the Enigma, end the war.

'Pass me an Alan key'

With a character who, in a simple description, would sound so close in personality to Sherlock (egotistical, incredibly intelligent, slightly autistic, closet homosexual), it would not be an unfair assumption to think that even Benedict Cumberbatch might struggle to bring originality to Turing and separate himself from his most famous role. However, these doubts are misplaced as Cumberbatch is completely absorbed by his performance of Turing. Together with a Keira Knightley at her best and a powerful supporting ensemble, The Imitation Game hosts some of the finest acting of the year. The cast all provide genuine and moving performances that depict some of Britain's brightest minds in a dark era of history, telling the tale of the men (and woman) that helped to win the war.

The team were having a cracking time.

With a emotionally driven screenplay, The Imitation Game tugs at many heartstrings but ultimately it is a story of hope, a story of success, and a story of the brilliance of humankind. But it is more than this. The film is a thriller through and through which rattles along at a captivating pace, adding puzzle to puzzle with a constant clock to beat in a life-or-death war setting. Morten Tyldum's direction with Graham Moore's screenplay is a match made in heaven and with such a strong cast, The Imitation Game moves from success to success. Whilst those who are more aware of the historical scenarios surrounding Turing's solving of the Enigma Code may find issues with the accuracy and some moments feel a bit forced to emphasise a point (the realisation that there will be decisions on who to save is an example of this), but the film's merits well outweigh its flaws.

A moving picture that tells the stories of one of the most important discoveries in military history. Captivating from start to finish (though sometimes a bit muddled in its presentation), The Imitation Game is a must see.

Best Bit? When the team find the link they need to decrypt the code, anyone who does not have a shiver down their spine as they put into the machine is possibly soulless. 

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