Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Fighting Two Wars (Movie Review: The Imitation Game)

It's been a rough couple of weeks, and I know I have not written. But hopefully 2015 gives me more motivation to update here.  I have been trying to catch up on my movies lately, and over the weekend went to see "The Imitation Game," hoping it will spark my interest again in cinema. Well, i couldn't have chosen a better film, as this is one of those films that grab you right away and never lets you go, and I came out of the movie house devastated, touched, and fully satisfied with the experience. 

Based on the life of Alan Turing, the film exposes his secret part in the Allies' victory in World War II by chronicling how he broke the code of the "Enigma," which the Nazis used to transport messages. While the idea sounds boring, the director, Morten Tyldum, sets up the story in such a suspenseful way that I was at the edge of my seat the whole time. I thought perhaps the last eighth of the film was wrapped up too quickly, kind of minimizing the heartbreaking ending, but that's just me being picky. (I remember seeing the play - Breaking The Code - on Broadway which starred Derek Jacoby)

Benedict Cumberbatch gives an effectively nuanced performance as Turing. There is a lot of subtlety in his performance, and in the hands of a lesser actor, the character would have appeared manic and mannered. But, Cumberbatch lets the audience fills holes in his simplicity. I never got him before (I have not seen hsi Sherlock acting) but now I get why he has some rabid fans. Keira Knightly is also wonderful as Joan, his best friend/wife, and deserves an Academy Award nomination (I suspect she will get it) 

Most of all, I love the film for its best message: that there were gay and lesbian people in history who contributed and helped with how we enjoy freedom and democracy today. But during those times, they were punished for being what they were. We live in a different world now, thankfully, and realize how lucky I am to see how the world has changed for the better.