Last week, I finally picked up The Imitation Game from my local library and sat myself down to watch it. I had, of course, heard many fantastic reviews about it, and considering that it stars two of my favorite actors, how could I possibly miss it, right?
I have been quite addicted to the time period portrayed in the movie lately. I’m completely engrossed in Downton Abbey, watched The Danish Girl and The Great Gatsby a few days ago (don’t recommend either one of those), and even several of the books I’m reading are set in the first half of the 20th century.
But back to this particular movie. The basic blurb, according to IMDB is “During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.” Simple enough.
The first thing I did after watching it (once I was done crying a little) was to go check the historical accuracy of what was portrayed. While it is somewhat criticized for a few historical accuracies, I was actually quite impressed with what I found. As far as I could tell, the inaccuracies were mostly due to having to cut down events into a 2-hour film. A few things were added in or changed for the dramatic aspect (it is a drama/thriller) but none of them really change history.
I’m not generally interested in war-time stories, but this one drew me in. I was aware that many countries encoded their messages (of course) but this look into the importance of decoding transmissions in order to win a war was fascinating, to say the least. Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Alan Turing was very emotional, albeit somewhat inaccurate, but I can see how and why the director may have wanted that specific acting choice. (My being a devoted fan of Cumberbatch has nothing to do with my opinion on the film.)
The chemistry between Alan Turing (Cumberbatch) and Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley) caused me to tear up several times during the film. Of course, since Turing was gay, their relationship was not a romantic one, but nevertheless, it was incredibly touching.
Speaking of which, although I was well aware of the treatment of homosexuals in the early 1900’s when I went into this film, it still made me very sad to see how cruel people could be to each other (some people still are to this day). The emotional distress was very well brought out by the actors.
All in all, I really came away from The Imitation Game with an new insight into the second World War. It really was a touching and realistic film and I would recommend it.