Saturday, 15 November 2014

The Imitation Game (2014)

I've literally just got back from seeing this film! I wouldn't usually write about a film so soon after seeing it but a friend asked me to write a "thorough review" and I think I have enough of an opinion of it to write something of a reasonable length. Also, I'm not tired enough to go to bed yet! :) Okay, so I had high expectations for The Imitation Game and in the end those expectations weren't met. That isn't to say that I didn't enjoy this film. I definitely liked it and I know that I'll happily watch it again at some point. The problem is that I really wanted to love this film and I wasn't able to. For any readers who might be unaware, The Imitation Game tells the story of Alan Turing as he attempts to break the Enigma code at Bletchley during WWII with the help of a small team. Actually, there are three plots in this film. The major plot of the film is set in WWII but we get flashbacks of Alan's childhood when he was still at boarding school and also flashforwards of Alan in 1950s' Manchester as he gets investigated by the police after a break-in at his house. The trailer of the film is below:



There are some extremely funny moments in this film. The audience laughed their heads off during the scene where Turing has his job interview at Bletchley and there was even a scene between Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Strong towards the end of the film that actually got a small round of applause. I should probably point out that Brits hardly ever clap during movies. But the script was my main issue with the film and the reason why I wasn't able to enjoy it as much as I would have liked. I'll admit that I don't know a huge amount about the Enigma code breaking but there were a lot of scenes in this film that felt very Hollywood to me and by that I mean "over-dramatic and fake". That really bothered me. Maybe I'm wrong! Maybe The Imitation Game is actually incredibly historically accurate but I very much doubt it. And I was nowhere near as moved by this film as I had expected - and wanted - to be. Alan Turing famously committed suicide after he was publicly shamed as a homosexual and was forced to undergo chemical castration, but the film never really allows us to see the pain and heartbreak that he must have gone through in the final few months of his life. There's a lovely scene between Benedict Cumberbatch's Turing and Keira Knightley's character Joan Allen towards the end of the film but it wasn't enough.

The acting is by far the best thing about this film. Mark Strong, Charles Dance and Matthew Goode are all great as is Alex Lawthur as Young Turing (although we don't get to see a huge amount of him). Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley were the stand-outs for me though. Cumberbatch has played a lot of super-intelligent characters now (e.g. Sherlock Holmes, Khan, Victor Frankenstein, Turing) but he's been able to play them all very differently from each other and he's as brilliant in this as his fans would expect :) I'll admit that I've been quite critical of Keira Knightley's acting in the past because some of her performances have wound me up the wrong way. However, she gives an excellent performance in this film and has a lovely chemistry with Benedict Cumberbatch. She brings a huge amount of warmth and charm to Joan and she's surprisingly funny in many of her scenes!

So, yeah, that's my take on the film! I know it's not in any huge depth but then I did only see it once and it isn't a film that I either loved or hated. I can usually write a lot for those kinds of films!

Rating: 3.5/5
Film Certificate Rating: 12

7 comments:

samara said...

I've only read the first line and already I'm giggling ;) Thanks for making a review exception for me :D

Now on to the rest...

samara said...

Ok, now I've finished. Lovely review and, as I said on Facebook, that makes sense based off the trailer. The thing about the over-dramatic is that, while it's a bit annoying as a viewer, it does tend to win awards ;) Love-hate relationship there.

Hannah said...

Thank you very much! After you see the movie do feel free to come back here and let me know what you think :)

Hamlette said...

I do want to see this, particularly for Knightley and Cumberbatch, but also for the WWII setting. Probably won't be until it's on DVD, though. Thanks for making me not feel too bad if I can't see it in the theater!

Hannah said...

No problem ;) I enjoyed this film but nowhere near as much as I wanted to.

melody song said...

Do you think you can do some mbti typings of the characters in this movie?

Hannah said...

I've never attempted it before Melody but there's a tumblr blog called Funky MBTI that you might want to take a look at. You can submit characters for typings and it's run by a very nice girl called Charity :)