Tuesday, 17 February 2015

P.S. The Imitation Game

The mundane, crowd-pleasing The Imitation Game is at best a well-organised, cliché-ridden feature, every narrative turn expected and each actor, playing caricatures rather than characters. The feature boasts a nuanced basis story, compelling events of military endeavours and stratagem, the secrets of a genius cryptologist, Alan Turing, prosecuted for his sexuality, and of course, his revolutionary method of decryption. But these elements are underplayed and the insignificant, petty emotional strings are pulled far too often. The film manages to diminish a complex, brilliant man down to a mere stereotype genius. What The Imitation Game presents is not a real person, hardened by discrimination and exclusion, layered, real and shaped by forward vision and intellect in a backward society. The Alan Turing of the feature is a grossly oversimplified being, capable of being digested in one phrase: a  socially-inept, well-meaning polymath. The Imitation Game is no more than lazy, unsatisfying filmmaking disguised as a refined biopic by enlisting Britain's finest actors and adding some dull, pseudo-intellectual dialogue. Cumberbatch prevails as the feature's single redeeming features (as well as the more than competent score by Alexandre Desplat) even Kiera Knightley falters in her role, perhaps due to the lack of inspiration supplied by her thin, prosaic character. The Imitation Game is a formulaic, substandard piece, positioned as a big red dart aimed straight for the Oscars, utterly forgettable and actually infuriating in its lack of insight and wasted potential. 


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