Sunday, January 4, 2015

Imitation Game

Spies and Lies Make for Intrigue

Genre: Historical spy thriller
Director: Morton Tyldum
Cinematography: Oscar Faura
Music: Alexandre Desplat
Costumes: Sammy Sheldon
Production Design: Maria Djurkovic
Studio: Black Bear Films/ The Weinstein Company
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, Rory Kinnear

                       Review by James Colt Harrison

The most important thing to a male is his manhood. He likes it to remain intact throughout his life. It’s his friend, his companion, his all. When that is taken away from him, he is less than a man, or at least feels that way. This atrocity, this mayhem against a man is exactly what happened to World War II computer scientist , mathematician, and closeted homosexual Alan Turing in England. Turing kept his sexuality a secret, but when it was found out, the laws in England required he either be sent to prison or undergo hideous chemical treatments to kill off his genitals and his sexual desires. This treatment of Turing happened AFTER he saved millions of lives because of his work to defeat the Nazis.

Turing was never given credit during his lifetime for his incredible feat of discovering a way to crack ENIGMA, the impenetrable Nazi war-time code machine for messages to its navy fleet in the Atlantic. It helped the Allies enormously to win World War II.

Turing and his team of mathematicians, intelligence officers, chess champions, linguists and scholars (including Matthew Goode, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard as well as Knightley) worked tirelessly at the secret location known as Bletchley Park in the Government Code and Cypher School.

Turing was a born genius who originally discovered his own homosexuality when at school as a boy. Cumberbatch expertly captures Turing’s uneasiness at social graces, lack of finesse when dealing with females, and shows his character as a man who is genuinely surprised when people point out his complete lack of graciousness toward others.

Although the film has been criticized for not being completely historically accurate, there is enough drama to capture the viewer’s interest in this captivating story. Sympathy goes out to Turing who was dreadfully mistreated by the same country whose millions of British citizens he saved with his code-breaking invention. Perhaps this will be rectified in the near future.

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