Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game is a recent film about British computer scientist and mathematician, Alan Turing. The story follows Turing through his struggles to crack Nazi Germany’s Enigma code. In doing so, it helped to enable the allies to win World War II. This movie was based on the biography entitled Alan Turing: The Enigma, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing, with a supporting performance by Keira Knightley as Joan Clarke, a woman who helped aid Turing with his work.

The film revolves around Alan Turing and his team of code-breakers who are racing against time as they attempt to break Nazi Germany's Enigma code during the Second World War. One interesting aspect of the film is that it spans three key periods of Turing's life: his unfortunate teenage years at boarding school; the triumph of his secretive work on the groundbreaking electro-mechanical bomb, and the misfortune of his post-war decline following his conviction of being a homosexual, a criminal offense during that time. Occasionally, the viewer will be whisked back in time in order to get a glimpse of Turing’s younger years. This allows us to get an understanding of where he came from, and how these aspects have influenced his personality and mindset. For example, there was one point in which we were able to see scenes from his childhood played out in front of us. From this, we learned that his best and only friend had died while they were still in school. This tragedy had a profound impact on his life, and now, along with being a generally socially awkward individual, he is made to carry the weight of his deceased friend as well. The film was unique in how it used these flashbacks to better illustrate his story to the audience, and it certainly had a positive impact on the structure of the film.

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