As mentioned in another article looking at the film ‘The Theory of Everything’, a source often used as a basis for movies is real life, and the, often amazing lives of real people. It’s easy to get swept up in the fantasy of a motion picture and to leave the real world behind, but the best stories aren’t necessarily make believe, and we have to remind ourselves that some of the most amazing things in fact take place right under our noses.
This film looks at the story of Alan Turing, a mathematician who revolutionised the way we do things today by conceptualising what has become the modern day computer. I think this film will be a truly eye-opening experience for young people today, reminding them that there was actually a time when computers could not even be imagined and the very idea of them was laughed at.
The story begins with Alan, portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, applying for a top secret position working with the government in the late 1930s. He immediately makes a bad impression with his rudeness and straight-talking attitude. It turns out that the job, which he eventually gets, involves trying to decipher the German Enigma code, which was severely damaging to the British Forces throughout World War II. Unfortunately, being made by the Enigma machine, the code parameters change every day. Alan realises that unless they want to re-decipher the code every day, which is in itself an extremely challenging task, they should try and do things another way. He designs a machine that could crack the code itself each day within a fraction of the time. He must then try and persuade the other people on the project to trust his plan, which they originally laugh at. This is made harder by his struggles with his homosexuality and the inequality of the time he lives in.
Benedict Cumberbatch gives an extraordinary performance in the central role, as well as Keira Knightley and a whole host of other amazing actors. This is a truly epic story and is in many ways, at least on the surface similar to ‘The Theory of Everything’, yet it differs in that while the latter is a feel-good film that shows how despite all worldly problems there is always something to smile about, this film is in many ways a tragedy. ‘The Theory of Everything’ focuses on a man who despite all of his other troubles, is recognised for his extraordinary work in Physics and is revered across the world. On the other hand, ‘The Imitation Game’ looks at a man who had an massive impact on the world today through computers, not to mention playing an extraordinarily important role in winning World War II, yet a man who was not only unappreciated for his work, but was in fact looked down upon for much of his life. I think that the aim of this film was not only to teach younger generations about the recent past and about the main character, but also to set free Alan Turing from the tragedies he faced in his own lifetime and celebrate the impact he had for good.
This film, which has been nominated for several Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Lead Actor and Best Supporting Actress, is truly moving and really makes the audience think. Perhaps my favourite film of the year, I can’t recommend it enough!
Image from: http://cdn.hitfix.com/photos/5794803/Poster-art-for-The-Imitation-Game_event_main.jpg