The Imitation Game

Saw The Imitation Game today as part of my yearly pilgrimage to see all the Oscar Nominees. Here’s some quick thoughts about the movie…

First of all, almost nobody can do wrong by me by brining the story of Alan Turing to the world. He is one of the true hero’s in my book. Here is the man who pretty much single-handedly won WW2 for us and kickstarted the computer sciences. The sad part of his story was that he had to keep his work secret even by the time he died so to him, nobody knew what he did. The sadder part is that he killed himself, most likely because he was shameful over the fact that his homosexuality was exposed.

So, I’m super happy that a story highlighting Alan Turing was told, and also happy that was done very well by Benedict Cumberbatch. But what I’m not happy with was the many historical inaccuracies in the movie. As well as the many strange plot devices. For example, at one point Turing in the movie is being held up from working on things by his commander at the base so he writes a letter to his commander who is Winston Churchill and even though we know nothing of the contents of the letter, in the next scene Turing is now in charge. I mean, what the hell just happened? Why is this plausible? It’s not, it’s a plot device and it’s dumb. And it has no place in a movie up for best picture.

So what other things didn’t I like? For one, there was an incredible obvious use of exposition. In one case we see a scene explaining the Enigma device that is painfully stupid and implausible but then, not 10 seconds later we hear in an overdub voice the entire explanation rehashed. Why?

And for a movie about a technical subject like codebreaking there is little or no technical things happening at all.

I also didn’t like the ‘disney’ moments. There is one cliche scene where Turing is about to be fired and his machine (the bombe, although never mentioned by name in the film) destroyed. In the last second, just as things seem to be about to go to a point of no return, one of his co-workers (who the movie spent so much time showing us that he didn’t like Turing since turing was gruff, but all of a sudden decided out of the blue that Turing was indeed right!) comes out from nowhere and says “If you fire Turing, you will have to deal with me leaving!” and then another says “and I as well!”. It was a scene you’ve seen in a dozen films before. What makes it worse is that this never even came close to happening in real life. The real story is completely different. In short, he was never about to be fired and his team always liked him.

Bleh. This was a shitty movie. I’m sorry. The only reason it got nominated was that the Weinsteins produced it and you know they know how to lobby the academy.

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