Skip to main content

The Imitation Game (2014): Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Mathew Goode, Charles Dance, Mark Strong


Maj. Gen. Stewart Menzies: "This war, we're not winning it. If you speak a word of what I'm about to show you, you will be executed for high treason."

 _______________________________


 
Alan Turing: "I'm just a mathematician."
Joan Clarke: "Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine."
 

 

 
 
The Imitation Game is loosely based on the true story of Alan Turing, (Alan Turing: The Enigma a biography by Andrew Hodges) a brilliant British mathematician and cryptanalyst  assigned to a top secret team to break the unbreakable Nazi Enigma code, a complicated and sophisticated cipher used by the German army, which would help win WWII.  Turing is well known to computer scientists than to most moviegoers.   Turing's, Benedict Cumberbatch, primary goal and vision is to build the first computer that would crack the code instantly.  With a team intact, the vision comes together and hastens the Allies victory.   After the war, Turing was arrested for the crime of being a homosexual and given the choice of prison time or chemical castration. 
 
The film examines three different periods in Turing's life.  The opening scenes take place in 1951 after being arrested.  The story flashbacks to a difficult childhood where love of math, cryptology and a true friend blooms to the adult work at the British Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, Britain's code breaking center and then back to present day.  The bulk of the movie is played out at Bletchley Park ending with the finale in the present.
 

Joan Clarke: "You're going to need all the help you can get and they are not going to help you if they do not like you."

 

 
 
 
Cumberbatch is superb in the film as the intelligent and antisocial odd duck Turing, a nice person though lacking socially savvy skills when  relating to others. The dialogue between the actors is fascinating and believable making Turing a difficult yet endearing character.   Images and thoughts of films such as Rain Man (1988), A Beautiful Mind (2001) and Dead Poets Society (1989) come to mind during the movie.  Commander Denniston, Charles Dance (Tywin Lancaster in Game of Thrones, HBO), powerfully and dashingly rules the bunch of chess-playing mathematicians and becomes Turing's main supporter.  Joan Clarke, Keira Knightley, wins a crossword puzzle contest designed by Turing to bring in a fresh crop of math wizards to the team.  Clarke upon winning the classified position befriends Turing. Turing would rather work alone only to realize that without the team everything would fall apart.  Clarke, equally intelligent, teaches Turing how to win friends, to be likeable and in turn Turing develops a group of coworkers that follow and believes in his vision.  Additionally, the underlying theme of a Turing's sexual preference is also woven throughout the film.   Turing proposes to Clarke for convenience though the film is clear about the true feelings of respect, friendship and love between the two.







 
 
It would be easy to write about every scene in the movie, yet giving it all away would be a disservice to the moviegoer.  The cast is Britishly fantastic, script well written and engaging with the impressive overview of intelligence by the core team and hundreds of others used during the war to break the Nazi Enigma code are simply unforgettable.  The audience laughs at times, is completely intrigued and roots for Turing success.  Of course, the scene imagery of the war from the planes, bombings, to the people huddled in bomb shelters captures the audience from start to finish.  People were dying brutally by the Nazis while the team at Bletchley Park were desperately trying to break the Enigma code.  The movie is spellbinding and riveting in this thriller about ending the Nazi regime using the all mighty mind and a computer to outplay the enemy.  Of course, as a Hollywood film some disagree with how the film plays out since the truth of Turing's life is bit stretched and twisted in this yarn.  
 
The finale of the film is a mixed because the secondary theme about Turing's sexuality is at the culmination rather than his incredible accomplishments. For instance, Winston Churchill, Britain's Prime Minister, believed Turing was the single biggest contribution to ending the WWII. Yet, these achievements and beyond are overshadowed with the concerns of Turing sexuality. The tears will flow and sadness of the cruelly archaic British anti-sodomy laws in the 50's will be stamped heavily on the big screen.   However, for this reviewer it was learning about an amazing and incredible man with a strong vision and a powerful mind who grasped the art of engaging others, became a leader while developing the footprints of the modern day computer and helped end WWII. The movie is spellbinding, enlightening and a must see. Well played I must say - Cumberbatch and Knightley!  Well played!  

Finally, the question that keeps the audience pondering after the credits roll:  Can computers think like humans?
 


 
 

Of course machines can’t think ‘as human beings do’. A machine is different from a human being. Hence, it would think differently. The interesting question is, just because something thinks differently from you, does that mean it’s not thinking? We allow that humans have such divergences from one another. You like strawberries. I hate ice-skating. You cry at sad films. I’m allergic to pollen. What does it mean to have different tastes, different preferences, other than to say that our brains work differently? That we think differently from one another? And if we can say that about each another, why can’t we say the same for brains made of copper and steel?

—  Alan Turing, The Imitation Game

 




 

  "Embrace the differences in each other... Tolerance, acceptance and understanding one another is a gift which embodies grace for the human condition."   

- Forever Chic Style - Kim Hardwick

 
 
 
.

Comments

Popular Posts - Last 30 Days

Merry Christmas 2020

  Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas one and all.  May you have a very festive day.   What a crazy year!  At the onset of the year 2020, we all had the best intentions, goals, and anticipation.   Of course, 2020 proved to be the opposite of anything we expected.  Completely 180 degrees of "What Now?"   There is no need to explain because we all have lived it.  What is for certain is that the year is finally ending. Thank goodness.  Some have stated this was the worse year in the history of our country.  Whether it was or is not, the end is in sight and a vaccine is beginning to be administered.  Hopefully, we each can reassess what is important in our lives, anticipate some sort of normalcy swooping back into our lives.  After all, we are social creatures and being isolated is not healthy for the mind or the body.  Spirit of Christmas - The Christmas Star Last Seen 1226 Never stop believing in the future and unknown.  This season we all decorated to the nines, baked cookies, laid ou

Over the Knee Boots - Monday Favorite Things

  New Day, New Dawn, New Life "Give a girl the right set of boots, shoes, and she can conquer the world." - Marilyn Monroe January 2021 is here.  Yes. We have patiently waited, been thoughtful, diligent and now the year is upon us.  Wishing happiness to all of you as we battle on.  The end is nearing for the virus, which brings smiles to everyone.  It is an exciting time with revitalized energy coursing through our veins.  An era of promise hope and  much more.  Get ready to soar, achieve your dreams and spread goodwill toward others.  "What good is the warmth of summer with out the chill of winter?" - John Steinbeck Along the path, winter has arrived.  Rain, snow, sleet, and hail in the mix for some and in the future for others.  What I love right now?  Over the knee boots.  A must for the cold days of winter.  Here are my favorites for a winter wonderland of fashion.  Even if you are working from home, there is nothing better than slipping on a beautiful pair of o

7 Ways to Become a Butterfly

Don't Crush the Butterfly! "Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people." - Prince Butterfly's come in all shapes and sizes painted in dazzling and colorful hues.  The beauty and varied differences of the butterfly are astounding and beloved by the beholder.  There are approximately 20,000 species throughout the world dancing in the sun and air.   Yet, what does a butterfly mean to fashionistas? Well, for one all the people of the land can evolve into creative and wondrous butterflies.   It is through the journey of life that sometimes the environment, family, friends and peers willingly crush the beauty and charming essence of you  - the exotic butterfly. Don't Destroy the Wings of Flight There will always be the vengeful, the user, the hateful or a person filled with jealousy and envy that clips the wings of the butterfly.  Their insecurities reign supreme and a beautiful butterfly ready to spread it

Happy New Year - 2021

  A New Chapter "Cheers to the new year and another chance for us to get it right." - Oprah Winfrey The end of the year fast approaches.  It has been a roller coaster ride for everyone.  The virus, lockdowns, tragic deaths, national election, and other elements caused for a turbulent and unforgettable year.  One we will never forget.  Some say this is the worst year in our history surpassing the depression of the 1930's, September 11th and various Wars.   Perhaps this is so because our country and the entire world shut down at various points.  Even today, lock downs exist, virus is on the rise and vaccines are being administered.  We will never forget last Spring and Summer when eerie photos of empty streets filled the newswires, epic violence occurred and of course endless news about the benevolent virus. However, we continue onward.  We eagerly move forward to a fresh beginning.  We wash away 2020 and start anew with a clean slate filled with possibility, hope and peace