The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game is a biographical-war-thriller film, which in itself is remarkable. The movie is loosely based on a real-life occurrence in the life of mathematician, Alan Turing. It was initially criticized for its dramatic portrayal of historic events and Turing’s character, yet later on, it was critically acclaimed as one of the best thriller movies ever made and it won several awards and was also nominated for Academy awards.

The plot revolves around the World War 2. In 1939, after Britain declares war on Germany, Turing is accepted for a code breaking job under government officials, in order to crack the Enigma codes the Germans used to encrypt their communications.

Enigma machines were a series were series of cipher machines, use extensively during  early 20th century to mid-20th century for furtive communication for military and diplomatic purposes.

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Enigma. This machine was thought to be undecipherable for several decades

Alan was a highly unsociable human being, hence making it difficult for him to work as a team with the other scientists and mathematicians hired for deciphering the codes. Eventually, he gets along with his teammates and also hires a few scientists to assist him, including Joan Clarke, the only female on the team. He shares a special bond with her because of her understanding of him.

After several failed attempts, he comes up with the idea of building a machine which he later calls ‘Christopher’ to crack the codes. He was strongly detested and also almost fired several times as everyone thought him to be a lunatic wasting the government’s money on his own project. Yet, with the support of his teammates especially, Joan, he manages to crack the enigma. With this achievement, the British government is able to predict the war moves of the Germans and take actions accordingly.

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Alan working on his machine, Christopher

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Alan working on enigma, beside Joan and his other colleagues, John Cairncross, Hugh Alexander and Peter Hilton

Later he reveals that Christopher was a friend of his during his childhood, the only friend who understood him during his juvenile age. He died due to bovine tuberculosis which scarred Turing for life. The movie also focuses elaborately on Alan and Joan’s relationship which was an immensely beautiful one without being romantic. Later, several conflicts arise due to Alan’s preferences in his life, causing him to be subjected to government’s harassment for his lifetime.

The end is marked by Clarke’s visit to his home and she notices his physical and mental weakening. She gives him hope by saying that his hard work and unfathomable intelligence saved millions of lives. Later, a newspaper headline reveals that Alan killed himself.

Alan Turing was effortlessly portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, who is also known for his marvelous roles of ‘Sherlock’ and ‘Doctor who’. Keira Knightley’s impression of Joan Clarke, helped her manage to steal some focus from Benedict Cumberbatch, which is commendable in itself. The cast was remarkable and everyone did justice to their respective roles.

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Joan attempts to console Alan as she sees his deteriorated condition

This movie contains several other plots which would be comprehensible only whilst watching it. It is a must watch for everyone especially those who are interested in computer science, cryptology, or good movies in general, as it is sure to leave you stunned.

Image courtesy: bchoy.me , ibmtimes.co.ukrottentomatoes.comtheatlantic.comcinemajam.com