For Reel

The Imitation Game (2014)
January 4, 2015, 8:36 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Morten Tyldum
3 Stars
The Imitation GameAs enjoyable as it can be to watch Benedict Cumberbatch play the socially inept snob at the center of The Imitation Game, the decision to play the character in a way that is occasionally distancing comes with the asterisk that the context ultimately excuses any digression due to his moral superiority. This is the sort of biopic in which the supporting characters ruminate about how great the protagonist is and how much he’s changed history–it’s an awkward sort of congratulatory ritual, a hero-worshipping eulogy written and delivered by people of a different generation. The misfit in question is Alan Turing, the British mathematician credited with being a significant key in cracking Germany’s Enigma Code during the second World War II, thereby shortening the war considerably and ensuring the Allies’ victory. As a biopic, it plays things considerably more safe than the already agreeable The Theory of Everything. Awkward as its dealings with Turing’s sexuality are–the film makes such a concerted liberal effort at portraying homosexual nobility without showing Turing on screen with a single lover–the conventional boarding school flashbacks are even more dramatically rote. Cumberbatch, though, is good, refusing to overplay the inherent vulnerability of a misunderstood man.