The Imitation Game is a movie that you should watch if:
a. you are a “Cumberbitch”
b. you are a computer geek
c. you want to a watch a genuinely good movie
I’ll admit I didn’t know much about Alan Turing before I watched it – never been my area of interest I suppose. But that’s what a good movie does. It stirs a thirst for information. Having incredibly talented actors play the key roles only fuels this further.
What a scary, horrifying time to have lived in. It’s difficult to imagine the mindset you’d have to be in to live through the war. Accepting death as an inevitable consequence, having to leave everything you love so dearly behind – either to gun down other soldiers, or hide for your life underground.
Benedict Cumberbatch does such a marvelous job of portraying a fragile, brilliant man who was wronged by the British Government, it just makes you love him a little bit more, if that’s at all possible. At least the English are sorry for the way Turing was treated and have come a long way since. Surely it’s time we did the same, India?
The picture summarises beautifully, the genius and eccentricities of a mathematician, who helped break Enigma – the cipher machine used by the Germans during World War II. This breakthrough is said to have shortened the war by two to four years and saved millions of lives. It also tells the tale of homophobia in erstwhile Britain that eventually led to his death. They said he committed suicide, but of course there are other theories.
A good way to know if a movie has had an effect on you, is to wait until the next morning to see if you dreamed about it in some strange way. Last night, I dreamed of Hitler shooting down computers and stealing laptops.
My favourite scenes:
a. When young Alan and his friend Christopher sit under the tree, reading.
b. When Alan proposes to Joan. You almost want them to have a happily-ever-after story.
c. When Alan is made in charge of the team, upon Churchill’s orders.
d. When Alan is suddenly struck with an idea to break Enigma and everyone runs out the bar after him.
e. When Joan visits him after he’s been forced into hormonal therapy – it takes some serious acting intelligence to deliver a scene so powerful.
Here are some interesting reading links I read post-movie:
1. The machine was actually patented in London and the guide to cracking Enigma was right under their noses the whole time!
2. The role India played in World War II.
3. Cambridge University’s short documentary on Alan Turing.
4. The real Joan Clark talks about her engagement with Alan Turing.