The Underrated Genius

bc the imitation gameAm I excited about the Oscars? I’m curious, I want to understand what the hype is all about. Therefore, every year I try to make an effort to watch the films that were nominated, even when they sound “boring”, I just take a leap of faith and go with it.

“The Imitation Game” is among this year’s nominees, and though, I wasn’t that interested, the lead actor was the main reason why I bought the ticket and went to see it. The film explores the life of Alan Turing, the legendary cryptanalyst that led a team of fellow code-breakers during the World War II to crack the secret code behind the Nazi’s communication machine — Enigma. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing and Keira Knightley as his “side-kick” Joan Clarke.

As I said before, I did not expect the film to be that good. I really thought that it was going to be total bore: World War II, cryptology, Enigma and Alan Turing (who?)… How on Earth are these “ingredients” for an engaging story? I’m taking back my words, because I couldn’t have been more wrong. The film has a duration of 114 minutes and I enjoyed every second: I didn’t fall asleep and Benedict’s performance was more than decent and the rest of the cast was okay. The man made my eyes slightly teary, therefore, I’m saying “yes” to his Oscar nomination because he and his voice both deserved it.

In my opinion, this was a defining role for his career. I had no doubt that Cumberbatch is a very talented man with some serious acting skills, but I always wondered when was he going to emerge into the silver screen as the lead actor in a major motion picture.  For instance, 2013 was a good year for Benedict, he was: a villain in “Star Trek Into Darkness”, a slave owner “12 Years a Slave”, the innocent “Little Charles” in “August: Osage County” and a  greedy dragon in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”. What do all these films have in common? Benedict Cumberbatch as a supporting actor. I didn’t include “The Fifth Estate” on that list, because the film didn’t do that well, Benedict’s performance was praised but the film bombed. Having said that, the film industry acknowledges Benedict as versatile actor but up until “The Imitation Game”, he wasn’t necessary seen as “leading man” type of material.

Back to the film, what did I enjoy about “The Imitation Game”? The story. I love when potential boring subjects give place to amazing stories. I guess the film hit all the right notes for me, because it focused more on characters rather than the technicality behind the historical events. The ending of the film is quite sad but not unexpected, anyone who has “googled” the name of Alan Turing knows how his story ends. The sad part wasn’t the fact that he didn’t get to live a long life, he didn’t get to live the life that he wanted to. Though he was prosecuted for all the wrong reasons when he was alive, he got the recognition and apology he deserved many years after his death… “better late than never” I guess.

For more technical details about the film, click here.