How astonishing that even though we (thank goodness) won World War ll, we’re on the edge of our seats, in terror over whether or not mathematician and cryptanalyst Alan Turig, heading a group of scholars, linguists, chess champions, and intelligence officers, will crack the “unbreakable” codes of Germany’s Enigma machine in time to help win the war, thereby saving thousands of lives. The Imitation Game is a haunting, intense portrait of the heroic genius who created the forerunner of the modern computer, Alan Turig, and his arrest in 1952 for “gross indecency,” code for homosexuality, a criminal offense back then, which led to his suicide.
Benedict Cumberbatch also proves himself a genius in his portrayal of Turig. Cumberbatch’s body posture, his every word and gesture makes this easily misunderstood man sympathetic, accessible. Keira Knightley, as always, shines.
Kudus to the Weinstein Brothers for purchasing this film and to its director, Morton Tyldum, and the screenplay writer, Graham Moore. The screenplay is based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges.