Friday, February 6, 2015

The Imitation Game

Alan Turing was in many respects the father of modern computing because he laid the theoretical groundwork and was involved in the construction of many early computers.  Modern computers are called Turing Machines, and Turing is famous for his Turing Test.  He was instrumental in breaking the Enigma code which helped the allies win World War II.  He was also a polymath who excelled in many fields and a long distance runner.

The Imitation Game focuses only on three periods of Turing's life:  His childhood, his code breaking period, and his persecution as a homosexual.  Because of this, I don't feel that the movie is a complete biography of Turing.  The movie doesn't cover any of his accomplishments other than breaking the Enigma Code, and likewise the movie is afraid to expose the audience to any of Turing's ideas.  The film seems only interested in the dramatic portions of Turing's life, which turns the movie into a soap opera.

A friend and I also noticed some inconsistencies between what was portrayed in the film and what we know from documentaries about the code breaking project during World War II.  The movie seems to take liberties with the facts for dramatic purposes.

The Imitation Game has a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is one of the nominees for Best Picture.  I think that the film is a missed opportunity to properly explore the world of Alan Turing.  The movie feels like it is really well made, but also flawed.

Rating: * * * 1/2