The Imitation Game is a 2014 historical drama directed by Morten Tyldum. Based on the 1983 biography by Andrew Hodges called Alan Turing: The Enigma, the film focuses on Alan Turing, played by Benedict Cumberbatch.
Since the release of the film, Queen Elizabeth II pardoned Alan Turing 59 years after his suicide, in 2013.
The film opens in 1951 with policemen investigating a break-in in Turing’s home. Whilst getting interrogated, Turing discusses his life during World War II.
In 1939 at Bletchley Park, Turing joined the cryptography Team - a team analysing the Enigma machine. The viewer quickly learns that the machine is used amongst Nazis to communicate by sending coded messages. Turing decides to create a machine, technically the first computer to ever exist, in order to decode the messages.
The film follows the creation of Turing’s machine and his personal relationships with the other team members, mainly Joan Clarke played by Keira Knightley, the only female team member.
The epilogue after the film states that Turing committed suicide due to the government mandated hormonal therapy.
The film quickly catapulted to success and with a $233 million worldwide box office revenue, it became the highest-grossing independent film of 2014.
Garnering mainly excellent reviews, the film was also criticised for two things: the LGBTQ+ aspect in the film and its historical inaccuracy. The LGBTQ+ community criticised the film for downplaying Turing’s homosexuality, however, the Human Rights Campaign praised the film for its ability to showcase Turing’s achievements.
It also has various historical inaccuracies such as Turing and Stewart Menzies’s relationship (played by Mark Strong), which in reality never existed.
Besides these critiques, The Imitation Game received mainly positive reviews worldwide, with an 8.5/10 rating on IMDB. The film was also nominated for a total of 8 Oscars and won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
I whole-heartedly recommend checking out The Imitation Game. A must-see emotional and heart-wrenching film that brought tears to my eyes.
Besides learning more about a war hero and genius, the film offers superb acting, great writing and an incentive to search and learn more about WW2, Alan Turing, computing and homosexuality during 1920-1950s Britain.
Final Rating: 4.5 of 5
What to watch if you liked The Imitation Game:
- A Beautiful Mind (2001)
- The Theory of Everything (2014)
- Unbroken (2014)
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