The Imitation Game
The twenty-first century has seen a dominance in computer technology. We use these machines in our lives for work and play, yet we keep saying that were going to further push what they can do. They can already play video games for us and instruct us how to cook pasta. Maybe they’ll be the ones doing the cooking for me (it would save me a ton of time until I can hire a chef)! Most textbooks will show people using computers at home as early as the mid eighties. If your were to turn to war history, then you’ll be surprised to find that computer history goes back further.
Turning to World War II, an early model for the processing system was built into order to crack the hardest code of all; the Nazi Enigma machine that changes patters daily to throw off code breakers. Though I’m not a programmer or even that proficient as a computer user, this is where a lot of pioneers like Tim Berners-Lee (Internet creator) and Larry page (founder of Google) found inspiration that pushed what computers can accomplish. Finally given justice for his accomplishments, the story of Alan Turing is expressed in The Imitation Game.
The British Military has been trying to break the Enigma device that the Nazi’s have been using for communication to no avail. The current code breakers simply can’t keep up with the daily changes and deadlines. What results is the hiring of a mathematician Alan Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) who claims that he can build a machine that will beat the Germans to the punch. His only insistence is that he gets to work alone, a demand that is denied. He struggles to work with a few scientists who never seem to understand Turing’s attitude. The movie seems to hint Aspergers Syndrome.
He eventually turns to hire another accomplish; a woman Joan Clarke (played by Kira Knightly) who was able to solve a crossword faster then anyone in the group, Turing included. He continues to build his Bombe machine with the goal of getting to be able to process millions of possible data in a matter of minutes. Clarke meanwhile helps Turing to become more sociable and even strike up a romance. She doesn’t know that Turing is a homosexual, something that he’s been struggling with since he had feeling for a friend as a teenager. Though Turing manages to build his machine, the British government is not so kind on his homosexuality.
Compared to the recent Unknown, The Imitation Game is a different kind of war movie. This one is more behind the scenes and dialogue heavy then on explosions and artillery. What follows is a very chilling tale not of a man who help the British win the war, but about a country that was so unforgiving because of his lifestyle. What The Imitation Game really wants to emphasize is that the government’s punishment on Turning was wrong then and it’s wrong now. The good news is that rather then being a sexually fueled story, it’s a genuine human story simply about this one guy doing his job.
A part from the controversy that the movie is trying to address, The Imitation Game is one of the best of 2014. I think that this is one of the few movies that I had no problems with. Benedict Cumberbatch, Kira Knightly, and everyone is casted perfectly, the story and editing all play out like a wartime melody and the look of the era looks great. The Imitation Game is a movie that everyone, even is their not computer, World War II, or LBGT fans, should still see.
I’ll give this five Bombe codebreaking Machines out of five. Riveting on all circuits, The Imitation Game remains one of my favorites and truly deserves the critical phrase it’s receiving.