The Imitation Game, a 2014 biopic starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley about Alan Turing’s life and codebreaking work at Bletchley Park during the Second World War gives historians no shortage of headaches. While the film strives to depict the deeper thematic truths of Turing’s life regarding his immense genius and the absolute tragedy that ensues, in doing so the writers sacrifice every critical historical fact along the way.
The Imitation Game: A Historical Hot Mess
While we have no expectation that historical films should be wholly accurate to the historical record, after watching The Imitation Game you cannot help but ask, “where is the line?” The Imitation Game at many points deviates so far from reality that when you’re watching with a deeper and more extensive knowledge of these events and figures depicted, it actually becomes difficult to watch.
The Imitation Game is so brazen with its history, it harms not only the character of many of the real historical figures portrayed around Turing, but at times it does harm to the character of Turing himself. It is a wholly perplexing state of affairs for a film seeking to depict Alan Turing in the best possible light.
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