Beautiful tribute to a genius and hero

The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing. Photo: PA Photo/Handout/StudioCanal
The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing. Photo: PA Photo/Handout/StudioCanal

In December 2013, The Queen granted a posthumous royal pardon to Alan Turing.

The London-born mathematician had been prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952 – a criminal act at the time – and he undertook a treatment of chemical castration with oestrogen injections rather than serve time behind bars.

It was an undeservedly inglorious end for a brilliant man, who was instrumental in breaking the Enigma code and should have been feted by our battle-scarred nation as a hero.

Based on a biography by Andrew Hodges, The 
Imitation Game relives that race against time to decipher German communications and bring the Second World War to a swift conclusion.

Morten Tyldum’s masterful drama neither shies away from Turing’s homosexuality nor lingers on it, framing nail-biting events at Bletchley Park with the mathematician’s 1951 arrest in Manchester.

Cumberbatch is mesmerising, trampling over the egos of fellow codebreakers without any concern for their feelings.

It’s a tour-de-force portrayal, complemented by strong supporting performances by Knightley, Goode et al as the close-knit team.