Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Imitation Game lacks guts!

Being a film viewer, rather than a film maker, I hesitate to pan my second film in so many weeks. I am not an expert, but I do have opinions, and they must be given an out. So here goes ...

This film lacks structure and it lacks purpose. The creative folk scriptwriters, producers, director) had not bitten the bullet of the true enigma they were dealing with. The name of the film tells us that much. Talk about being hit in the face by a wet fish!

This film would not have been made if Alan Turing had not been a homosexual. The Dam Busters was made in 1955. So there can have been few state secrets involved with that one. But it was a straight forward action film. This one would have been harder to mould because it is about a bunch of geeks in a hut, working on a whirring machine. Turing's life-style and death, make the story interesting, give it a moral core. But they did not grasp this nettle.

There are two tweaks with linear time. We are given the back story of Turing's first love at school: a boy named Christopher, who mysteriously died. This is done with a number of cumulative scenes. But all limp-wristed. Sex doesn't get a guernsey during the entire film.

Turing's eventual arrest sort of book-ends the film. But Cumberbatch is not degraded enough, especially in the first book-end. Here is a man being chemically castrated, yet we only see the effects (both physical and psychological) in the final scenes. Life doesn't have book-ends. He needed to be under pressure in BOTH bookend scenes. The film is poor for these reasons. There are other issues, too.

The creative team does not respect either its subject, or its audience. Beating around the bush about homosexuality is one aspect of disrespect. Another massive aspect is the filmic treatment of Joan Clarke. The way she is introduced is cringe-worthy, and bought guffaws from women in the audience. The worst scene of the entire film is where the moral crevasse yawns before them, of knowing the German's next move, and realising they cannot/shouldnot do anything to stop the slaughter of the innocents. So childish, and amateurish.

And the two leads: Benedict Cumberbatch, and Keira Knightley. Cumberbatch I have not seen in action before. Not once, be it on big screen, or small. He looks like a geek, and acted like a geek. Even when he gave out the apples. When he told the story of the bear, though, his sullen face creased momentarily with a cheeky smirk. Naughty, and should have done the scene again. When he degraded at the end, it was only his actor's face that dehgraded. He still was clean, with combed hair. No grime under his fingernails. This is not the fault of the actor, but of the creative team.

And Knightly? I have seen her in a few other things, but here she was KK dressed dowdy. She still had that wiggle in her walk, and crack in her voice. Joan Clarke was a geek of a woman under the iron press of insular, provincial parents.

Golly, I could only give this one 3 ...

8 comments:

diane b said...

And here I thought it would be a good one to see.

Julie said...

It probably is, Diane. Just not for me. Other folks came out afterwards saying "great show Great show."

My next one is Crowe's Water Diviner, and after that is "Still Alice". I want to compare this with the excellent Julie Christie film from a few years back.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Well this is one we are going to see. and the Water Diviner. I will let you know my rating.

The only problem for us is the Edge Cinema in Katoomba has closed so we either have to wait for the movies to reach Glenbrook in February or trip down to Penrith.

Julie said...

Or you could subscribe to Dendy on demsnd, Joan ...

Margaret said...

Thank you for the reviews, Toowoomba has a foriegn film festival, but it is run over 3 days and it just isn't possible to see everything you you would like. Last year I saw The journey of 100 steps, but missed The lunch box and a few others. The nearest Dendy which shows interesting films is 2 hours drive away in Brisbane.
I had no idea it is possible to stream Dendy films, so that is what I will be doing now.
I was visiting Sydney mid December and went to Dendy on the edge of the city to see Map of the stars....woah...pretty confronting. A friends choice, we then went to have lunch at Darling harbour but the traffic was crazy due to the Lindt cafe seige.

Julie said...

Just had a browse through Dendy-on-Demand. It is not for such as us, I am afraid. Some very old stuff, and some very juvenile stuff. And the site is a dog's brekkie.

Joan Elizabeth said...

I went and saw the Imitation Game last night and disagree with just about all of your comments :-) I really enjoyed the movie and thought all aspects were handles well.

I started in the geeky end of IT and it made me nostalgic for the days when I was a lone female among the geeky guys (its a powerful position to be in). As for the cringe worthy intro of the female it was just like that in the 70s.

I do on-demand TV but but not movies ... I much prefer to buy the DVD if I am going to watch something at home.

Julie said...

Hah ... goodo ... I was in IT in the 70s (73 Bureau Stat, 74-77 Dept ACT, 77-79 LJ hooker), and even though we wrote in machine code in two of those places, there wsa still a number of women.

I want to do Mr Crowe this weekend.