The Imitation Game – One of the Best Films of 2014


Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game

Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game

This movie is about secrets and about heroism. It is about the unconventional kind.  None of it was known until recently.  Some of it was not understood and even disdained. One Hero, Alan Turing, was misunderstood and even criminalized for who he was , as some heroes have been historically.

However, as time marches on , truth brings light and  the truth of heroes cannot be denied.  We are living in such an age. This is when the heroism of Alan Turing is being recognized and how he literally changed the world.

The Imitation Game tells of the top secret group of high level civilian code breakers who were tasked to break  the Nazi’s seemingly impossible code called Enigma.   The group was composed of highly intelligent diverse individuals.  The most socially awkward and brilliant of them was Alan Turing..

He decided to develop a machine to perform this task. His own brash and tactless personality made him get into odds with his colleagues but eventually he learned to work with them. Originally met with skepticism about his using a machine to handle breaking the code of 159 million possible daily combination possibilities, he was almost shut down.  Eventually he broke the code. This machine is the beginning of what we will call the computer.

Through some strategic use of this knowledge and in total secrecy with the highest levels of intelligence in the British Government, the military strategy against the enemy was carried out very selectively to avoid discovery by the Nazi’s. The code breaking by Turing and team shaved an additional 2 years off the war and also saved 14 million people.

Alan also had another secret .  He was Gay in a time that it was illegal.   Although,  the film shows a more subdued version of the real life eccentric and involved gay life of Turing, it was true that he was eventually arrested for his lifestyle, castrated and disgraced.   He did commit suicide. In August of this year he received an official pardon from the Queen of England posthumously for what was considered  discriminatory and wrongful charges against him.

What the film does well, especially with the performance of  Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing is bring to light and honor a man deserving of remembering for accomplishing the extraordinary and changing our world.  Also on a deeper level, remind us of our charge to accept those who are different.

 

 

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