Just like the good Jew I am, I ventured this Christmas to the movie theater for a day with celluloid delight. It was a bit more difficult to choose what to see this year as opposed to last year or the year before; but rest assured I made my bed and boy am I glad I slept in it.
The Imitation Game (2014) tells the story of Alan Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch), who is a mathematician hired during World War II to crack a Nazi code known as Enigma. If the code is cracked, British Intelligence will be able to intercept Germany’s communications and inevitably end the war. Oh, this is also based on a true story if you couldn’t figure that out. The film also stars Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, and Charles Dance.
When you go into a film like this, you do know the outcome. You know they’ll crack the code and end the war. It’s pretty logical thinking; but like other films, it doesn’t necessarily need to be about the ending. It’s about the journey. However this is a story that has remained top secret for the past 50 years, until a few years ago when it was finally revealed what happened during WWII. Not only is this a cat and mouse game, but it is also a question of morality.
It is actually very fascinating just how advanced the Germans were during WWII. Their military, their resources, their numbers, etc. As tyrannical as they were, it is truly something. I also learned in this movie just how bad it got for Britain during this war. Imagine what it was like to be constantly bombed. To not know when those sirens were gonna go off and you had to go underground; and then the next morning you found out your home was gone. This movie really captured that incredibly. I felt for people that weren’t even characters in this film!
Benedict Cumberbatch gives a great performance undeniably; but I can’t help but feel like he plays the same, “I’m smarter than everyone in the room,” character. No doubt he’s good at it, and this performance was a lot more layered than other roles he’s gotten. I also think I’m in love with Keira Knightley. She’s a fantastic actress and drop dead gorgeous. She’s come a long way since the days of Pirates of the Caribbean. Matthew Goode is someone I haven’t seen in a lot but I enjoyed his performance, and I love Charles Dance. He plays one of my favorite characters on Game of thrones (2011-) and I love his voice and demeanor.
The Imitation Game is a political thriller that no doubt took some liberties of its own; but the message was clear nonetheless – How can one group solve a mystery with technology that is decades behind their opponents; and when that mystery is finally solved, can the world know? Or will the secret cause more havoc than there already is? I think the film is very entertaining, its tragic at times, and it showcases Cumberbatch and Knightley’s acting, despite Cumberbatch essentially playing a WWII Sherlock Holmes. Expect this movie to get a lot of love during oscar season.
Overall Rating: 8/10 – great
It’s entertaining, it’s well written, Cumberbatch and crew kill it, and the movie gives you a lot of insight into just how exactly the British saved over 10 million lives to end the war. Hope everyone had a good Christmas!
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