I was really looking forward to watching this movie. How bad can a film about decrypting a Nazi war tool be? I failed to realize that it was more of a film about Alan Turing, himself.
It’s a dual story, explaining how England government is secretly trying to decrypt the Nazi’s Enigma code, while also acting as a character study of Alan Turing himself. My biggest issue with The Imitation Game is the filmmakers ‘decision to put Turing’s personal struggles and stopping Nazi Germany on the same importance level.
Throughout the film there are many chronological lapses back and forth in time. Although jumping around in the timeline may serve a grander purpose, we almost always prefer remaining at the time during the war when Enigma is being cracked. Maybe this is because the flashing back and forth is only there as testament to Turing as a person–not to parallel the issue with the Nazis.
When character studies are concluded we’re meant to understand the character on a level that we thought not to be possible. But at the end of this film, we are still left at a cold distance away from him. And this is a trend, as there are no characters in this movie that we actually like–an issue that plagues many a potentially great film. While The Imitation Game is a great war drama, the character study is lacking that warmth, and ultimately this film, at times, becomes as hard to connect with as its main protagonist.
The script, although filled with superb dialogue, features confusing plot points, which aren’t helped by the time-lapse narrative.
But this film does do many things right. Benedict Cumberbatch is terrific as Turing, and the supporting cast does a great job too. On the technical side, the set pieces and design are great to look at, and the score has heightened awareness. This film does everything correctly in those minute aspects. My biggest issues just come from within the script. However, overall, it isn’t a bad movie by any means. It just isn’t a great one.