Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Imitation Game [A Fat Jesus Quick Hit]

Benedict Cumberbatch is great, not only because of his name. He's the type of actor I can appreciate almost anything that he does. I went into 'The Imitation Game' basically blind, having no idea what the film was really about. Cumberbatch and Keira Knightly shine in this very intriguing film. I kind-of liked the story and the overall historical aspect, but this is a film that just didn't quite sit right with me. I liked it, but I'm not sure I loved it. Maybe my thoughts about this film are an enigma.

'The Imitation Game' follows the story of Alan Turing (Cumberbatch) a brilliant mathematician. After a break-in at his home in 1951, he recalls the story of his time working at Bletchly Park. In 1927, a young Turing is bullied at boarding school and develops a friendship with Christopher Morcom. Christopher ignites his interest in cryptography and soon Turing develops feelings for him. Morcom suddenly dies of tuberculosis, before Turing can tell him his feelings. Fast forward to 1939 and Britain has declared war on Germany. Turing travels to Bletchly Park, and under the supervision of Commander Denniston (Charles Dance) joins the team of Hugh Alexander, John Carincross, Peter Hilton (Matthew Goode, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard) and others. They are trying to decrypt The Enigma Machine, invented by the Nazis. Turing is difficult to work with, and even goes as far to get the weak links of the group removed from the project. To find replacements, Turing puts a difficult crossword in the newspaper, eventually hiring a bright young woman, Joan Clarke (Knightley), who solved the crossword and a tough test. Now with this newly assembled group, the real test begins as they are given a limited amount of time to crack the code. Turing and company have a seemingly impossible task, in cracking The Enigma Machine.

This is a hard film, for me to write about, because I'm not actually sure how I completely feel about it. Even after thinking on it for a long while since watching it for the first time. The length, style, lighting, costumes and score were all fine. So, I really don't want to go over all of that stuff, that is merely something that I found completely fine in this film. The acting and characters were mostly fine, though beyond Cumberbatch and Knightly, there's not a whole lot of standout performances. Cumberbatch fully embraces the role of Alan Turing. From his style of speaking to his mannerisms, Cumberbatch effortlessly glides into the role of Turing. Complementing him greatly is Knightley as Joan Clarke. She packs the emotional punch of the two, and really brings out life in the scenes with Cumberbatch well. The two work together well with each other, and the rest of the supporting cast. The exception being Charles Dance, who commands attention when he's on-screen. The rest of the cast is a little harder to get behind. Unless they're directly in a scene with the two, they don't standout well enough for me to like any one of them. The story is also an alright adaption. The story about cracking the "unbeatable" Enigma Machine is an intriguing one. To see what things were like back in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and just thinking about how far technology has advanced since this is crazy. Because I'm sure the machine Turing used to decrypt the code, fits in the palm of our hands today. Unfortunately, the drama side of everything didn't do it for me. The homosexuality of Turing, the team drama and (eventually) the love aspect between Turing and Clarke, just never got my attention. This might be why I could never fully get on-board with 'The Imitation Game.'

'The Imitation Game' is a good film, one that I like. But, it's not one that I think should be getting as much (high) praise that it's getting. Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightly are great in this, but the rest of the cast just isn't up to snuff. Leaving them to lead the okay, at best, story from beginning to end. 'The Imitation Game' is a perfectly fine movie, that suffers from a story written in a way that I just didn't like at all.

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