After watching The Imitation Games, I battled with myself trying to figure out which aspect of the movie I should focus on.
The part where we as human beings were an epic fail, when we asked a civilian, a college mathematics professor to join the British Intelligence Service to break the Enigma Code, which cut short World War ll by almost 2 years and as per historians, saved over 14 million lives and then promptly jumped on our moral righteous high horse and awarded the man with a choice– 2 years in prison or chemical castration ‘ hormone therapy ‘ for being a homosexual. He chose the later and after a year of ‘ treatment’ killed himself.
Or I should just focus on the man who came into our lives as a crazy narcissistic brainiac Sherlock, then introduced us to Julian Asange in The Fifth Estate, and went on to be the odd son in a dysfunctional family in August – Osage County, which he followed with the gold loving, fire breathing, terrifying Smaug and finally gave us the brilliant mathematician, at times crazy, socially awkward Alan Turing….. Benedict Cumberbatch.
While watching the movie one realizes and appreciates the saying ‘ less is more’. To portray the horrors of war one doesn’t need reels of gruesome war scenes. The horror can be equally effectively projected in subtle ways. As a result, the focus of the film never wavered from the actual topic- Alan Turing.
Although there were quite a few well known faces in the movie, Keira Knightly, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Allan Leech ( Downton Abbey), Charles Dance ( Game of Thrones), the only person who stays with you after you leave the theatre is Benedict Cumberbatch. His stellar performance captures Turing’s passion, brilliance, awkwardness, helplessness, fear and finally his resignation to his fate, to perfection. His Oscar nomination is rightfully earned.
On a happy side note: In 2013, the Queen gave Royal Pardon to Turing. I am sure he is beside himself with joy and hanging upside down from the branch of a golden apple tree in heaven. Oops, sorry. Hell not heaven. For a moment I forgot he was a homosexual.