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MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews The Imitation game

November 14th, 2014 by Conor ONeill Comments

The Imitation Game (12a)
Directed by: Morten Tyldum
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley & Matthew Goode
Running time: 114 min

I DEFY anyone with a love of narrative, a mind questioning the nature of the human condition, an interest of history and the beauty of well thought out gripping cinematography and perfectly balanced acted pieces of art not to love this film?

Yes, for the next five or six hundred words I’m going to gush about this mesmerising piece of cinema! This film deserves three exclamation marks, but personal taste won’t allow me more than one. How, with its star line-up, it has only made it to independent /selected cinemas is a tragic waste of effort and love for the telling of a wonderful, heroic, tragic story that really annoys me.

And here we begin. Logic. That of Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbach, famous for Sherlock), rising star in the world of mathematics, professor at Cambridge and with a mind somewhere in the range of genius swerving towards the rainbow of Asperser’s syndrome takes on a role which should defy his role as Holmes. Socialites are not where his talents lie. This film flips back forth, forth and back, they’re spun and span, I always love a movie where there is humorous pun and plan in three different decades: the 1920s, 40s and 50s involve the viewer in the definition of the ages, all austere manipulation of a water-tight yet at times inner-smiling knowing script.

Childhood, Alan, played with inspiration by kid actor (Alex Lawther) with a love of crosswords, cryptology followed by his mature but difficult elder actor portraying Turing through the mumps and measles of youth to a sad rejected man in his forties.

Hate to be an early doors’ spoiler, but I insist in providing you with invitational spoon of the salivating plot genius. Lack of social skills: Check. Down hearted by his success of nought: Check. He’s applying for Bletchley Park and with an ice cold mind, Turing ends up with many to stick up for him, often against their will. Enter Keira Knightley, another maths genius, and a bond soon forms, an engagement ring of sorts is offered and accepted. But, there’s a problem: Turing is homosexual.

What happens next is a forage into the world of what is possibly the most troubled mind of the previous century. Equality of both men’s and women’s rights, double agents unearthed and kept in the dark or sometimes bright sunshine, scenes of war torn Europe as the Nazis take kingdom after country after republic and democracy supply the background of the plot. As the decades and years, events and developments run strangely through the film they make this totally gorgeously watchable.

Tortured, engaged with the aid of a piece of machinery to wire and with a brain on fire, Turing attacks the war and all its spoils with arguably the most centred brain on offer to 1939 . Waiting in Bletchley, Turing has an Eureka moment, the story twists like a rattler in defence mode and we’re led into the realisation that Director, Morten Tyldum’s choice of characters, screen writers, production crew and editing department have made a belter of a movie.

This film is what a hip-flask full of the finest Scotch is to what moving pictures should be about: plot, characters, filming, period outfits, authenticity, the list runs on. I beg and implore you to get tickets and watch this movie. Bafta? Definitely. Cannes? Without question. Oscar? Yes, yes, yes and with disregarding internet etiquette I will type ‘YES’ in large type. If one believes in justice… yes this should be globally watched, but with such a lack of promotion and media attention, this movie, for the love of your favourite God/Goddess/Gods and Goddesses, should be on your bucket list of flicks to watch.

5 out of 5 nerds

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Conor O'Neill is at times a playwright and a qualified journalist. He has worked for the Belfast Telegraph, Portadown Times and South Belfast Advertiser. He also contributes to various online e-zines, specialising in theatre, gig reviews and other cultural events. If you were to ask him what he does, he will say 'I'm functioning'... that's a lie. Best suited to pressure and deadlines, O'Neill thrives on the moment, the passion and the thrill of now, he's only happy when he's watching or reviewing a play.

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