Sunday, December 28, 2014

Review: The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game: 9.5/10 The movie balances reverence and reality of Alan Turing's life with kindness and gentleness. Alan Turing was not the most amicable of men, being both brilliant and a keeper of his own secrets. He's almost a properly British version of Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory. Please, don't let this scare you away. Professor Turing really was the smartest man in the room and lacked a sense of humor. He obviously has trouble relating to the people around him and Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal is subtle yet caring. With that being said, keeping his secret was the item of utmost importance which is understandable considering the climate around homosexuality at the time. He attempts to be asexual which obviously doesn't work, the confirmed bachelor type. And it should be a lesson for those who say that gays should hide their sexuality lest the children or others who might disagree see it. By having to hide it, a man of brilliance took his own life rather than live with forced chemical castration. Who knows what the world would be like today if Alan Turing had just been accepted as who he was? He also understood the importance of bucking the authority and expected societal roles. He treats the one woman in his life with kindness and as an equal even though he really had no equals professionally. The film balances three points in Alan Turing's life: prep school, work with Christopher (the Turing Machine that he invented to crack the Nazi code machine: Enigma), and post war life. Each point has a significance and is intertwined beautifully. The use of war news reels gives the war a prominent spot but it remains in the background as Turing, his colleagues, and Christopher are firmly seated in a precarious position of failure is not an option. The discovery of the final bit of information to make Christopher be able to crack the code is one of the most moving scenes in the entire film. Add in the aftermath of cracking that code, what they would have to do with the information is powerful because its not what is expected. In the end though, the invention of Christopher saved an estimated 14 million lives and probably shortened the war by 2 years. Just let that rattle around in the head for a while... In short, if it wasn't for Alan Turing, we would not be as connected as we are today. We take for granted the work he did and who knows what the world would look like if it wasn't for Professor Turing. In the end he was simply one of 49,000 men who were charged with gross indecency for simply being gay in the early 20th century England. Pros: Actors (all of them, there wasn't a poor performance amongst anyone), the writing, and the use of news reel footage. Cons: The reality of his life. We live in a time where being gay is being more and more accepted. We live in a time where marriage equality is rapidly becoming a reality. No one should have to hide like he did. Takeaway: Our modern world is courtesy of Alan Turing. Oscar Noms: Best Screenplay- adapted, Best Actor: Benedict Cumberbatch, Best Supporting Actress: Keira Knightley, Best Supporting Actor: Charles Dance/ Mark Strong. Best Costume. Best Cinematography: Oscar Faura (also did Transsiberian, The Orphanage, The Machinist), Best Director: Morten Tyldum.

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