The “Imitation Game” recounts the life of Alan Turing, the genius who decrypted the Enigma code used by the Nazis for military commands during World War II. The film is a hauntingly candid composition of flashbacks to Turing’s childhood, his process of breaking the code and his post-war life that is equally dramatic and solemn.
Cumberbatch’s on-screen acting style is intelligent and eccentric. The personality of a “socially-misunderstood genius” is a role that Cumberbatch is well known for, as seen in his famous role as Sherlock Holmes in BBC’s hit series “Sherlock.” Cumberbatch pushes the boundaries of this genius trope and fully immerses himself into the mind of Turing, a man who doesn’t understand jokes and responds to all situations completely objectively, a man who rarely makes lasting social relations with other people and a man who, above all, sacrifices any means to accomplish the seemingly impossible—break Enigma and win the war.
The movie displays three different periods during Turing’s life: Turing as a school boy, Turing cracking Enigma and Turing’s final days in England. The scenes flash between different eras of Turing’s life, and director Morten Tyldum intertwines the events in Turing’s life that shape his character.
Alongside Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, who is well known for her roles in Bend it Like Beckham and The Pirates of the Caribbean, plays the witty and intelligent Joan Clark, the only female codebreaker on Turing’s team, who faces the struggles of gender inequality while trying to fit in with the team. Clark becomes a pivotal anchor in Turing’s life and is the only character who can relate to his misunderstood endeavors. Clark has a feminine charm and softness coupled with unadulterated brilliance that breaks the normal role of overlooked sidekick to her male counterparts.
“The Imitation Game,” incorporates the best aspects of a drama and historical recount, making it a must-watch biopic. The film has secured eight Oscars nominations and looks to be a favorite amongst critics and fans alike.