Published: 12/11/2014 09:09 - Updated: 12/11/2014 20:23

REVIEW: Inverness Film Festival - The Imitation Game

The Enigma-decrpyting team with Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing (centre)
The Enigma-decrpyting team with Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing (centre)



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Margaret Chrystall

This is a film that, like the earlier Enigma, Robert Harris’s book, delves into the personal world of those working to decrypt the German Enigma code during the Second World War. Here, the focus is on the tragic story of Alan Turing, the gay mathematician whose code-breaking machine – an early ancestor of our computers today – is estimated to have speeded the war’s end by two years and saved four million lives. Benedict Cumberbatch pulls off the trick of making  a  “difficult” character both sympathetic and complex. Nick Hornby’s script teases you through flashbacks to the heart of Turing’s story.

What happens: Alan Turing is recruited to a top secret code-breaking team at Bletchley Park and uses it as an opportunity to fast forward his “universal machine” to speed up the process, alientating everyone from his commanding officer to his fellow team members from the off. Finding Joan Clark – with a double first in maths but parents determined she will take on  conventional woman’s role – is a turning point for Turing. But there re constant cuts forward to 1951 when a nosy policeman unwittingly triggers Turing’s downfall.

Best quote: “Sometimes the people we can’t imagine do the things that no-one can imagine.” Or: “Love just lost Germany the bloody war!”

Who for: Anyone who likes a good thriller, fans of Benedict Cumberbatch

Quick review: Benedict Cumberbatch was made to play the eccentric Alan Turing, while Nick Hornby’s script decodes the man and his finest hour.


The film is now showing at Eden court Cinema fromFriday (Nov 14) until Thursday, December  Vue Inverness from Friday. It's also at Thurso Cinema from Friday till next Thursday, November 20.


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