Sunday, February 01, 2015

Road to the Oscars 2015: The Imitation Game

The Turing Test

A Review of The Imitation Game

Directed by Morten Tyldum

Alan Turing was a brilliant mathematician and cryptanalist that secretly helped the Allied forces in WWII. I had heard of Turing's life before in this particular podcast, so I was coming into this movie already spoiled as to what was going on.

Based on the book by Adam Hodges, The Imitation Game details Turing's attempts to decipher the formidable Enigma code. At the same time, the film takes a look into his personal struggles  in the forties and the fifties and his relationships with other people.

The film is heavily fictionalized; Turing was by all accounts eccentric but not antisocial. Benedict Cumberbatch channels his inner Sherlock and portrays the mathematician as a moody genius with issues. Many other characters are either exaggerated or made to fill different roles for the sake of drama. Of all the biopics in the Oscar race this is probably the most dramatized.

The film is more or less safe and is pretty much by the numbers. There are lots of interesting story opportunities here, but the overall effect is more or less unremarkable. It's a fun film if you're a fan of the 'Batch, but otherwise there really is nothing to say about the film.