By Nate Willis, Entertainment Writer
Norwegian-born director Morten Tyldem brings to life the incredible story of how British mathematician Alan Turing was able to break an “unbreakable” Nazi code to shorten World War II by an estimated two years in “The Imitation Game”. The film’s title is a reference to Turing’s theory on determining if computers possessed true intelligence or not. The whole time while watching this film, I couldn’t help but be struck with awe at the silent tenacity that Benedict Cumberbatch delivers as Turing.
Simple comparisons might rob this film of its originality, but I noticed Cumberbatch’s performance resembled that of Russell Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind”. However, the distinction rests on Cumberbatch’s mastery of the subtle. Every expression, every motion Cumberbatch makes as Turing seems just as calculated as the code he’s trying to break.
The film’s timeline moves between 1952, as Turing is being interrogated for an explanation into his classified war records, to 1941, when he first applies to work on breaking “Enigma”, the Nazi’s “unbreakable” code. We also see glimpses of his childhood throughout, which it’s soon revealed through these series of flashbacks that Turing was a homosexual, which was illegal in those days. The film’s primary focus is on Turing the man, not Turing the machine. Ironically, most of Turing’s emotions become prevalent only when he is working on the machine. As a result of the Enigma project he actually makes friends, something he struggled with his whole life.
The tragic part of this film is the fact that homosexuals were basically tortured in those days, and this fact aids in Turing eventually becoming the film’s sacrificial lamb. The film isn’t about homosexuality directly, just about a man who was a homosexual, and paid a terrible price because of it. At the end of the film the viewer is left highly disappointed, not in the film, but with the fact that the hero ultimately doesn’t “win”. But those are the best kinds of endings, the endings which instill anger, sadness, and awe in simultaneous fashion.
This film has been labeled as “Oscar bait” just because it’s a rallying-point for the LGBT cause, but I urge anyone who goes and sees it to see it for Cumberbatch’s impeccable performance, one that puts him in serious contention for a “Best Actor” Oscar.
Nate’s Netflix Picks:
• Team America: World Police
• Jesus Henry Christ