Secrets are heavy burdens, and no one knows better than Alan Turing. A Brilliant Mathematician, Turing applies to the British state during WWII so that he can help crack the German “Enigma” building a machine which thinks like a human.
Problem is, most people don’t believe a machine like that could even exist, nor do his teammates like him. At all. As time passes however, Turing succeeds, and in that success he gathers more secrets. Finds out more lies…
And it is only a matter of time before the truth is exposed.
Things I Liked
Perhaps the noblest thing found in this film is the result of cracking the German code. Instead of using this knowledge to benefit the team in personal ways. They painfully disregard this desire and instead use Enigma to break the Germans down piece by piece. It was shown that historians estimate over 14 million lives were saved by the use of the broken code as basic intel.
Turing is shown as a flawed man with a huge difficulty to function in social settings. He cares not for people, but for puzzles. This was presented neither as good, nor bad, but rather just who he was. We see this personality solve the puzzle which ended the war, but also damage the relationships around him. I enjoyed seeing a man shown not in a heroic or unheroic light, but rather one who simply lived in this way, allowing you to judge for yourself what was right.
Don’t burn me at stake for this, but I also enjoyed seeing the fact that just because a person has a perverted sin- that is in this case, homosexuality, it does not mean the person doesn’t have feelings or should be cast out as one without a soul. Because of the hateful treatment Alan Turing receives due to his sin, it ultimately destroys him. Not to detract responsibility for his own life, but there is something to say also about the lack of love shown towards Turing and the effect it has upon him.
This film is masterfully acted in every sense of the word. Cumberbatch takes the screen with a riveting performance which is remarkably unforgettable.
Things I Didn’t Like
Perhaps the greatest thing which I disliked in the film is the not-so-subtle pokes at society and their treatment of people who are homosexual. This film does not preach, but rather profess through story, that we need to accept people “wired” in this way just like any other normal human being. While in one sense we should love them just like any other person Christ calls us to love, we cannot support a lifestyle of sin such as this- just like we cannot support a lifestyle of alcoholism, gambling, etc.
With this content being brought up so much in the movie. Innuendo is proficient throughout the film. Male parts are especially dwelt upon in bar conversations. While in other instances flirtatious “come-ons” are implied through various forms of communication.
We see flashbacks of ships blown to pieces and other war related scenes. People are punched, slapped, and kicked a few times in the heat of frustration. A boy is trapped in the floor by bullies and not released until a friend finds him.
Profanities of the D, A, and B words are used a couple times. God’s and Christ’s name are taken in vain a half dozen times.
Now you decide; Am I a machine, am I a human, am I a war hero,or am I a criminal?
This is the question Turing asks a detective who has put him on trial. One we ultimately are asked as well in this film. While this movie may be a war drama regarding the development of the machine that breaks the german code, it is more about the life Turing lived and the decisions he made.
To watch him live a life completely and utterly alone is one which is heart wrenching. Joan tells him in less than ladylike terms that, after he solves Enigma, it won’t fill the hole in his heart. How sadly true this is. Turing was a brilliant mathematician. Yet, with all of his intellectual capacity, all of his accomplishments, he lived rejected by the world due to his sinful sexual desires and obsessively selfish state.
In his gross ineptitude for relationships however, We get to know and care for Turing in the film. Rarely does a work so masterfully capture and portray a man’s life such as “The Imitation Game” does. We want Turing to be happy. So badly do we want to see a happy ending. But it isn’t, because Turing missed that one thing which would fill his heart. Love. Not a twisted temporary worldly love, as the movie suggests. But a real, genuine, Christlike love which only belief could offer to him. Where there opportunities in Turing’s life to find this? I don’t know. What I do know is Alan Turing’s life ended as depressingly as it was lived. That as the things of history and earth pass away, as his works are eventually forgotten.
I couldn’t help thinking as I left the theater “What a tragic, heartbreaking waste.” What a waste of a machine, who put his gifts before everything else. What a waste of a human, who never found the love of Christ. What a waste of a war hero, who spent two years of his life solving a puzzle which saved millions of lives. What a waste of a Criminal, who had sins like the rest of us, but punished more harshly because of the society in which he lived.
What is not a waste however, is the application we can learn from this movie. That is, no matter the intelligence of the person, the situation, the past, or the sin. There is a person living an empty life. And we have the key to fill it. Let’s not waste that opportunity, and leave the person to have the same fate of Alan Turing. Because that, is a losing game.