Film Notes: The Imitation Game (2014) directed by Morten Tyldum

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

UK – USA / 114 minutes / color / A Weinstein Co. (in U.S.)/StudioCanal (in U.K.) release and presentation of A Black Bear Pictures/Bristol Automotive production. (International sales: FilmNation Entertainment, Los Angeles.) Dir: Morten Tyldum Pro: Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy Schwarzma Scr: Graham Moore Story: based on Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges Cine: Óscar Faura Mus: Alexandre Desplat Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch (Alan Turing), Keira Knightley (Joan Clarke), Matthew Goode (Hugh Alexander), Mark Strong (Maj. Gen. Stewart Menzies), Charles Dance (Cdr. Alastair Denniston), Allen Leech (John Cairncross), Matthew Beard (Peter Hilton) Rory Kinnear  (Detective Nock), Alex Lawther (Young Turing), Jack Bannon (Christopher Morcom), Victoria Wicks (Dorothy Clarke), David Charkham (William Kemp Lowther Clarke), Tuppence Middleton (Helen), James Northcote (Jack Good), Steven Waddington (Supt Smith) Release Date in Spain (theatres) 1 January, 2015.

Based on the real life story of Alan Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch), who is credited with cracking the German Enigma code, The Imitation Game portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team at Britain’s top-secret code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II. Turing, whose contributions and genius significantly shortened the war, saving thousands of lives, was the eventual victim of an unenlightened British Establishment, but his work and legacy live on. The Imitation Game  stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek, Into Darkness, TV’s Sherlock) as Turing and Keira Knightley (Atonement) as close friend and fellow code breaker Joan Clarke, alongside a top notch cast including Matthew Goode (A Single Man), Mark Strong (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Rory Kinnear (Skyfall), Charles Dance (Gosford Park, TV’s Game of Thrones), Allen Leech (In Fear, TV’s Downton Abbey) and Matthew Beard (An Education). (Source: Studio Canal)

Synopsis: During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) to investigate a reported burglary. They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charges of ‘gross indecency’, an accusation that would lead to his devastating conviction for the criminal offense of homosexuality – little did officials know, they were actually incriminating the pioneer of modern-day computing. Famously leading a motley group of scholars, linguists, chess champions and intelligence officers, he was credited with cracking the so-called unbreakable codes of Germany’s World War II Enigma machine. An intense and haunting portrayal of a brilliant, complicated man, The Imitation Game follows a genius who under nail-biting pressure helped to shorten the war and, in turn, save millions of lives. (Source:  The Imitation Game, Production Notes The Weinstein Company)

My understanding is that the book Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges, served to inspire the film, but there are a number of inaccuracies as have been pointed out in several places; like for example in Fact-Checking the Film: ‘The Imitation Game’. I can accept that in a film, as in any other work of art, facts don’t need to completely conform with reality; but perhaps, in this case, it would have been preferable a more rigorous historical approach with fewer dramatic licenses. In any case, Begoña and I went to see this film a couple of weeks ago. I found it quite entertaining, the story was pretty much unknown to me and I understand that the performance of Benedict Cumberbatch is superb. I missed a more detailed account of Turing’s work, there is no doubt he succeeded at the end, but who trusted him and why?  All in all, a thought-provoking film that is worth seeing.

Further reading:

Glasgow Film Theatre Programme Note: The Imitation Game

What’s Missing from “The Imitation Game” by Dan Rockmore

Notas de cine: Descifrando Enigma dirigida por Morten Tyldum

Sinposis: Durante el invierno de 1952, las autoridades británicas entraron en el hogar del matemático, analista y héroe de guerra Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), con la intención de investigar la denuncia de un robo. Acabaron arrestando a Turing acusándole de “indecencia grave”, un cargo que le supondría una devastadora condena por, lo que en aquel entonces se consideraba una ofensa criminal, ser homosexual. Los oficiales no tenían ni idea de que en realidad estaban incriminando al pionero de la informática actual. Liderando a un heterogéneo grupo de académicos, lingüistas, campeones de ajedrez y oficiales de inteligencia, se le conoce por haber descifrado el código de la inquebrantable máquina Enigma de los alemanes durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Un retrato intenso e inolvidable de un hombre brillante y complicado, The Imitation Game (Descifrando enigma) sigue a un genio que bajo gran presión ayudó a acortar la guerra y, consecuentemente, salvar miles de vidas.

Tengo entendido es el libro Alan Turing: The Enigma escrito por Andrew Hodges, sirvió de base para inspirar la película, pero hay una serie de inexactitudes como se ha señalado en varios lugares; como por ejemplo en Cometieron seis errores: los fallos garrafales del biopic de Turing. Puedo aceptar que en una película, como en cualquier otra obra de arte, los hechos no necesitan ajustarse completamente a la realidad; pero quizás, en este caso, hubiera sido preferible un enfoque histórico más riguroso con menos licencias dramáticas. En cualquier caso, Begoña y yo fuimos a ver esta película hace un par de semanas. Me pareció bastante entretenida, la historia era prácticamente desconocida para mí y entiendo que la actuación de Benedict Cumberbatch es magnífica. Echo de menos una explicación más detallada del trabajo de Turing, no hay duda de que tuvo éxito al final, pero ¿quién confió en él y por qué? En definitiva, una película que nos ayuda a reflexionar y que vale la pena ver.

Ficha de la película

4 thoughts on “Film Notes: The Imitation Game (2014) directed by Morten Tyldum”

  1. I have to say, I enjoyed the film and was also very disappointed at the same time. I like Cumberbatch a lot in the role and am pleased that Turing is finally getting the real recognition it deserves. But practically nothing in the film s presented as it really happened and I think they could have tried to make it more realistic without the need to dumb it down – it is hard not to feel that there is a real contempt for broad audiences, particularly one suspects American ones – if I were an American viewer I would pretty annoyed at being viewed as so incapable of accepting a slightly less linear narrative or a more confusing cast of characters. A bit of a wasted opportunity as I think, with this caste, people would have put up with a less conventional and less fictionalised approach, I am sure.

  2. Oh, no. I really appreciate the honesty here. I am looking forward to seeing this movie, and am dismayed at its shortcomings.

    Alan Turing was a hero, among many others, who cracked the Nazi codes, and it is an outrage that the British government persecuted him for his sexual orientation and personal life.

    What bothers me about the film is another criticism that has been raised by women. There is a new book out about women at Bletchley and their roles. Apparently, 8,000 women worked there doing every type of work, from the most routine to the most important. They are not getting recognition.

    I appreciate the TV series The Bletchley Circle about four women who were code breakers and
    geniuses, too, as the episodes portray.

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