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Review: The Imitation Game

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There are those that would have you feel The Imitation Game is a bad film because it is historically inaccurate. This is a red herring, although there is a valid point lying in wait. The specifics of the story The Imitation Game presents are in fact bad, but they are not bad because they are inaccurate. This biopic of Alan Turing would be dead-on-arrival if everything it depicted was the complete truth, and it would be dead-on-arrival if everything in it were a bald-faced lie. It is a tired, cadaverously old-fashioned tale of the harms done by a stodgy, conservative society that is itself, as a film, as stodgy and conservative as any of the characters it depicts.

To play a different game from our opening about the people who dislike the film for misguided reasons: those who like it can seldom muster a claim beyond “it tells an important story about an important man”. We can all agree on the latter. Alan Turing is an important man, and it is probably important that his story be told. But The Imitation Game does not tell an important story, and more importantly it does not tell any story importantly. It is too busy telling a story in the driest, most divested, least lively way possible. That a film tells the story of an important human being is a red herring for it actually being a good film, as great a red herring as a film being historically inaccurate is for disliking it. Alan Turing was an important man, and The Imitation Game does that important man a grave disservice. Continue reading