FILM REVIEW: Storming performance from Cumberbatch

Imitation Game ANL-141118-105825001
Imitation Game ANL-141118-105825001
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REVIEW: THE IMITATION GAME (12A) SHOWCASE CINEMAS PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW

CAST: BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH, KEIRA KNIGHTLEY, MARK STRONG, MATTHEW GOODE, CHARLES DANCE, STEVEN WADDINGTON, HANNAH FLYNN & ALLEN LEECH

RUNNING TIME: 1 HRS 54 MINS

DIRECTOR: MORTEN TYLDUM

The battle for the Oscar has begun, WRITES MIKEY CLARKE.

I was crossing my fingers that The Imitation Game would be much more than a ‘slow-paced’ character driven movie – feeling (at the time) in the mood for something a bit more intense.

It turns out this IS much more. This is a war biopic filled with Mystery and Suspense – and an A-List cast to top it off.

The Imitation Game tells the remarkable true story of Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), a world-class mathematician genius, who was recruited by the British Government during the early stages of the Second World War in a desperate attempt to break Enigma – a coding device used by the Nazi’s to encrypt their radio communications.

It was thought that if the device’s code was unravelled, it would help Britain win the war.

Alan designs a machine that he feels is the only way of breaking Enigma, but the government becomes impatient with the increasing time and money it takes to build the appliance. They give the mastermind just one month to finish his project – resulting in a nail-biting race against time.

I was worried that when I saw Cumberbatch on the screen, I wouldn’t be able to get past the fact I was watching Sherlock Holmes. That wasn’t the case at all.

This is the actor as we’ve never seen him before. He brilliantly plays this unlikely hero with a tortured soul. Thanks to his storming performance, long after the credits rolled I was desperate to discover more about Alan Turning and the wartime code-breakers of Bletchley Park.

So, could this be an early Oscar contender? Cumberbatch will surely be closing in for a nomination as Best Actor at least, whilst Keira Knightley also gives a stunning performance as his female sidekick.

The well-written screenplay and fascinating scenes depicting a war-torn London may well also see it nominated in categories across the board.

On a personal note, it’s my first five-star review in a long time. Why? Because I couldn’t tell you how this film could be made any better.

In a year where the First World War has been rightly at the front of everyone’s minds, this film reminds us of the terrible impact a second war in one generation had on the lives of so many.

A top class script and cast – with an unlikely hero at the centre – makes this a must-see film for everyone.

By Mikey Clarke – Rating: 5/5