Friday, December 5, 2014

The Imitation Game Does Its Service

I liked The Imitation Game. It was good enough. With a subject like Alan Turing, one could easily have fallen down any number of rabbit holes. But I felt like these guys figured out how to walk that thin line and managed to cover everything they could, really give it all its' due.
The Imitation Game is the true story of how Alan Turing created the first computer, helped bring an early end to the second world war, and still managed to alienate the entire British legal system in the process. Given that it was, until very recently, kept top secret, I don't think I have to say "this isn't an easy story to tell."
Morten Tyldum (director) managed to pull a lot of positives out of a cast that was almost too big for its' own good. Often I find somebody will drop the ball when there are too many names in one picture, yet I felt almost everyone held up their own end rather nicely. Benedict Cumberbatch, who seems to be in just about everything these days, gives an excellent performance as Turing. This is another strange character for him... the kind he usually excels at. An incredible mind that has difficulty using the body its in... has difficulty understanding other people... or perhaps is just to busy with THE IDEA to let other people in or succumb to society's expectations. Turing's an amazing character, and Cumberbatch does him justice. Keira Knightley does a fine job as Joan Clarke as well... though I hate to be the guy who says she's too model-esque for the part. Regardless, she makes herself believable in the role. Matthew Goode and Allen Leech were also great casting choices. Though I did feel a little taken out of the movie by Charles Dance's performance. He just felt too "larger than life" for what this production was.
The science of it all gets a pretty good breakdown, which I enjoyed. Most movies of this variety try desperately to get around having to explain the science in lieu of social interaction, but The Imitation Game doesn't pull that punch. The computer is cool to look at, and the codes aspect is kind of fun. And let's not ignore that wonderful score by Alexandre Desplat! It's so refreshing to hear a score I can actually hum... (looking at you Interstellar).
But for all its' positives, I can't help but feel I won't be talking about this movie a year from today... it won't even be on my mind. Certainly, the story it manages to tell will stick around... Alan Turing is a name to remember, and the history of computers I'm sure will be more greatly delved into in the coming years. The film itself just doesn't feel like it's all that memorable. It does its service to an incredible mind... but then just sort of fades away.

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