Out Of Theatre

The Imitation Game

Out Of Theatre
16 Jan, 2015 1 hr 57 mins U/A
Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, Alex Lawther, Peter Hilton, Mark Strong, Charles Dance, Matthew Beard, Jack Bannon
Synopsis
An affecting tale of an extraordinary human being.
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  • Times of India
Story: During WWII, mathematician extraordinaire Alan Turing's mission is to crack the Enigma machine's code used by the Wehrmacht. Turing's work will not only be instrumental in shortening the war but will also as a result, save many millions of lives. Apart from that, this is a masterful portrayal of a genius.

Review: "Pay close attention. I will not pause. I will not repeat myself..." intones Turing (Cumberbatch) very early on in the movie. And so, indeed without pause or preamble, steadily unspools the tale of one of the most brilliant minds of modern times.

In Bletchley Park (Churchill's Secret Intelligence and Computers HQ), Turing is interviewed by the imperious Commander Denniston (Dance) for a 'secret' job. When Turing utters the word 'Enigma', the deal is done. Helping him along in Hut 8 are a few code-breaking experts Hugh (Matthew), John (Leech), Peter (Beard) and his future fiance Joan (Knightley). None of their lives would ever be the same again.

Enigma has "159 million million million" combinations, says Turing, and as if things weren't difficult enough, the Nazis change the combination every midnight. But Turing sees a sliver of statistical possibility. He builds a machine that can as he hopes, crack Enigma. Only a machine can defeat another machine, he believes, as his disbelieving teammates look on.

The film bounces between three time periods - Childhood, WWII and post war. But it is the death of his childhood friend Christopher (Bannon) that becomes Turing's guiding star in life. He names the machine Christopher. A room-filling behemoth fuelled by arterial power cables and venous wires, it is like a manifestation of Turing's own complex mind.

Joan's warmth and intellect both complements and is a counterfoil to Turing's personality. While his sexuality did cause him problems in his native England, this is not a tale of tragedy but rather, one of triumph. And as Turing was told as a child: "Sometimes, it is the people whom no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine." An affecting tale of an extraordinary human being.
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