Benedict Cumberbatch seems to have a fetish for playing smart, complex and obnoxious characters. What with Sherlock Holmes, Stephen Hawkings and Julian Assange on his current filmography, it would be fair to say that he is rather good at it too. His latest character to be added to this list, Alan Turing, is very similar, and again based on a real person like many of Cumberbatch’s predeceasing roles.
Directed by Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game is set mainly in 1941 as well as other non-chronological periods focusing on ‘The Enigma’. Of which is a top-secret Nazi communication device that encodes their top detail out to the frontlines. Thought impossible to crack, the Germans had an upper-hand in the war because of it and it allowed them to move unexpectedly under the ally’s noses for years.
That is until, Alan Turing (Cumberbatch) is assembled under the command of Winston Churchill himself. Acting as his superiors; Charles Dance and Mark Strong detest to the idea as Turing is well, unlikeable. Along with his hand-picked team, including Keira Knightley’s character, Joan Clarke, through many difficulties, manage to break the code without the German’s noticing in a thrilling tale of espionage and drama.
Based on the incredibly true story – only declassified last year after being deemed a government secret for more than 50 years – Alan Turing is finally realised.
His significance in the war, although completely unrecognised, changed its direction for the better. It has been estimated that because of Turing and his team’s work the war, was able to end two years earlier due to the information he was able to provide from the cracked codes.
Benedict Cumberbatch, depicting the role of Alan Turing, is monumental. His portrayal, not just of breaking the enigma, but also reflected personal life is outstandingly orchestrated and easily places him in a front-running position for the 2015 Award season.
Beautifully crafted and emotionally complex, The Imitation Game is one hell of a story that needs to be told. The Imitation Game is the opening gala at the 58th BFI London Film Festival. It can also be seen on the following dates; 8th October, 9th October and 10th October. Bookings can be taken on the official BFI website.