Monday, December 29, 2014

The Imitation Game

A burglary at Professor Alan Turing's house reported by one of his neighbours prompts the Scotland Yard to dig deeper into his life.  The inspector becomes suspicious of the victim instead of the suspect; he forges a signature to obtain military records of Alan Turing, but to his astonishment there is none, the envelope is empty.  The irony is that the movie about Alan Turing's life is as empty as that envelope appearing in the movie.

The let down of this movie, for me, was its glossing over the Turing the inventor and his invention*.  It lacked knowledge and substance.  Instead of celebrating the life of a man who invented the first machine that can "think", the audience left the theatre feeling sad and sorry for him.  Thank you very much Black Bear and Weinstein company for taking the life of a 20th century inventor and turning it into nothing but a sorrowful story. Now we all feel sorry for Alan Turing; he was chemically castrated to avoid prison and took his own life with cyanide at the age of 41 because he was a homosexual.  

The movie did have a climax, however, and that was when the team realized they can't use the decrypted Enigma code. I could hardly breath at that moment.  These men had just solved the biggest problem of the 20th century, yet they could not use their findings to save lives, because it meant turning the clock back to the beginning; more mathematics and statistics were needed to determine how the information should be used.

The movie benefits immensely from brilliant, talented cast.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Alan Turing
Alex Lawther, Young Alan Turing

Keira Knightly: Joan Clark, Matthew Goode: Hugh Alexander, Allen Leech: John Cairncross, 

  1. *A Turing machine is a hypothetical device that manipulates symbols on a strip of tape according to a table of rules. Despite its simplicity, a Turing machine can be adapted to simulate the logic of any computer algorithm, and is particularly useful in explaining the functions of a CPU inside a computer.

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