The Imitation Game is a game of deception of sorts. Can a child imitate an adult? Can a criminal imitate a hero? The Imitation Game is the based on the true story of Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), the man who singlehandedly created the first computer. This computer cracked the Nazi code (ending World War II years earlier). He is also a convicted criminal for the crimes of homosexuality.
Release Date: December 25, 2014
Running Time: 114 minutes
Director: Morten Tyldum
Writer: Andrew Hodges, Graham Moore
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kiera Knightly, Mark Strong, Matthew Goode
Director Morten Tyldum tells the story of Turing at three stages of his life. We first see Turing at the latter point of his life, when his home is “robbed.” The police detective thinks there is more to Turing’s story and starts to investigate Turing as a possible communist spy. The subsequent investigation, though, reveals that Turing is, in fact, a homosexual, which at this point in the history of England is a prosecutable offense.
Feeling remorseful, the investigating officer tries to give Turing an out. It is here that Turing reveals the secret of his work during World War II. This event starts the second stage of the movie and the most prominent story of Turing. As mentioned earlier, Alan Turing created the first computer, designed to break the secret Nazi code called Enigma. The road was not easy. At this point in his life, Turing is an anti-social loner with very little people skills. He succeeds quickly to alienate himself from his colleagues and the Commanding Officer in charge of cryptology.
It is working at the base in Benchley, that Turing gets the idea of building Christopher, the code-cracking computer. His only ally is an agent from MI6 (Mark Strong). In a message to Winston Churchill, Turing manages to become the head of the project fire and couple of members and hire Joan Clarke (Kiera Knightly). Joan has to hide the fact that she’s a brilliant mathematician from her parents and the army.
The third stage of the movie is Alan Turing as a young boy in school. We find that Turing was just as much an outcast as a child as he was as an adult. Subject to constant bullying, Alan finds his only one true friend, Christopher. This friendship is deeply personal for both Alan and Christopher and as you can imagine not only defines Alan as a person, but also strengthens the shell where he will live.
The Imitation Game is a fascinating, yet tragic story of a hero. The events leading up to the breaking of Enigma has all the edge of your seat drama you need for a true story. Our hero, Turning is weird, yet sympathetic and heroic. The end of the movie turns tragic, when Turning’s work and heroism can not save him from an unjust end. So, is Alan Turing a hero or a monster?