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"A Soul Decrypted"

A movie critique on "The Imitation Game"

By P.A.Vinura JayasankaPublished 2 months ago 11 min read
Allen with Joan

The Imitation Game is a biographical thriller movie which was directed by Morten Tyldum. It was first released on, the 28th of November,2014. The movie is based on the book "Allen Turing: The Enigma" by, Andrew Hodges, which narrates the true events of The Father of modern Computer-Allen Turing.

The movie flows touching three main time lapses. Though the movie is not narrated by Allen Turing himself, from the beginning scene we see Allen is investigated after a break-in at his home. Investigated for what? A sense of curiosity has been planted since then.

After a few moments, we are taken into the major time lapse which starts from the year 1939. Allen is invited to take part in a most urgent state interview there. In the scene which runs at a train station, we feel how dreadful the experience of a War is! When a newspaper boy, announces the War update we see how quickly the innocent faces of children, turn pale. Even such minor characters are carefully, directed throughout the movie.

Benedict Cumberbatch gives the life to the Allen Turing. The most urgent interview goes through Allen's potential and his capabilities. When he is questioned about a vital requirement of his job, he merely gives true answers in a very funny way. With those remarks, he is ordered to leave the interview immediately. But suddenly, the interviewer's attention arises as Allen mentions the core term Enigma so casually.

As a mathematician at a well-recognized University Allen promises the interviewer that he is a genuine problem solver. Though the interviewer- the Commander of the project doesn't believe in Allen's skills at first, he is allowed to join the clan to work with the professional team to decrypt messages from the enigma machine. The team knows how difficult breaking the code is. Most indignantly, it was called the "Unbreakable code" by that time. The key to that difficulty was the existence of an almost infinite number of possibilities in, decryption settings. If the team's members try to decrypt the code all by them it would take nearly 20 million years. That's why it was named as the unbreakable code ever. Now you see how tough Allen's goal was.

As a genuine problem solver, he finds a revolutionary solution in his mind to solve this. He touches the heart of the crisis and believes that, if the unbreakable code is generated with a machine, so it should be decrypted also by a machine. He asks for a grant to create such a machine. By that, no one believed that it was a logical solution, regardless of other's opinions Allen kept on trusting his imagination with his work steadily.

When his proposal was to throw away to the trash, he managed to get it implemented with the assistance of his chief officer and the superior command given by the state. With that authorization, Allen makes necessary alterations in the team, despite traditional methods.

As I told you earlier director fetches us a mind-blowing journey between past and present. Every scene is linked with each other. He talks about a serious disaster regarding the violence throughout the movie. Especially the way it impacts so hard on a child's mind. It's shown using an incident that Allen had to face during his school days. Young innocent Allen is bullied and ragged for no reason but just for the poor satisfaction of cruel students. There he comes across his rescuing best friend "Christopher". Since then they began to share each other's experience and knowledge as they grew up. The entire audience gets alarmed by the depth of Allen's old memories. In every scene director succeeds in showing, how solidly those are planted in the bottom of the heart of a child. It was year 1928.

With his power, Allen creates a strange crossword competition to sort out the best and fastest problem solvers in England. In that case, we see various locations all over the country. With those scenes, we get a clear understanding of the background of the War. The movie flows through touching the aspects of both external War and Allen's internal mind war.

Again, the winners of the crossword competition are challenged under huge mental pressure conditions. Despite that severity, we see a young lady complete it before the super tight deadline. She and another problem solver get selected for the team to create the decrypting machine. She is Joan Clarke and she is highlighted as the major women role we find in the movie. It is portrayed by Kierra Knightelly. She impacts Allen in a real way, to work out practical solutions.

Throughout the movie, the old memories are recalled. Then we see that Christopher was the person who inspired Allen to be a cryptographer. As Allen started discovering a brand-new machine, results were not visible at any rate. Everything seemed to be not working well. With such conditions, any colleague gets distressed and frustrated. So does Allen's team. That is a general trait of human behavior. Then "Hugh" who we identify first as a villain to Allen at first, tries to destroy the machine he was creating. However, it is force-stopped.

Even the most innocent lad in the crew "Peter" shows his discomfort feeling upon the process. He points out that, they were only doing nothing, while others were doing hard work at the Warfield. Allen never gets distracted by any of those negative talks. He stands still with what he visualizes and stays confident, consistently. Those attitudes are realistically portrayed by Benedict with professional facial expressions.

When the time passes by, he reveals the idea of creating a reprogrammable machine, which was believed impossible at that time. Allen wants to create a machine that performs more than calculations; a machine that decides what's to be done after the calculations. It's the beginning of the concept of the first intelligent computer.

Though he works honestly to the duty, he is suspected due to various reasons. But as there is no evidence found against him he is saved. Allen stands steadily when he is accused without a base. That moment tells us again, that honesty is the best policy. With all his dark memories in life, Allen used to live all alone except for the time he spent with Christopher at the school. Then he finds it hard to adapt to a community. He struggles to hang on. There Joan helps him a lot in building up interpersonal skills, making him a practical person. The director succeeds in raising the humor through the very character, that depicts the seriousness. The audience gets sunk in a sea of laughter by seeing, how he attempts to be normalized. And what do we get from that? If a person is not good at teamwork it doesn't matter how intelligent he is. All his potential goes to nothing if he is unable to work as a team. Kierra immensely succeeds in playing the guiding role for Allen realistically.

The character of young Allen which is carefully curated in the script is nicely portrayed by, Alex Lawther while the role of Christopher was played by Jack Bannon . 100, 000 pounds were invested in Allen's machine project. As there is no visible progress in it, the commander decides to take charge and finish off the project, which he believes is a waste of money and effort. That role is portrayed by Charles Dance in a very crucial manner. Though the audience finds it hard to agree with his activity, when we view viewing from his perspective, it's crystal clear that that was his final option as he doesn't know many insights on Allen's machine. And what we are viewing is mostly about external sequences, but when things are at the personal level even our decisions could vary. But very sadly there, Allen has to face the worst ever experience any innovator can face; seeing his entire project wind out right before the climax was to happen soon. But miraculously, even making Allen amused, his colleagues come forward despite the commander's supremacy and stand with Allen's opinion. That's all because they believed in Allen.

With that team movement project was ordered to continue for only one month more and it made them even tougher to reach. Unexpectedly Allen finds that Joan was about to leave the job, with her family concerns. So he decides to pretend like he realistically loves her. We can observe the way, Allen plans so suddenly, to propose to her in a very strange way.

Every night the team suffered a lot with another failure. The deadline was frowning ahead. In such a midnight, Allen finds the premium brainwave so randomly. That point is worked out very quickly inside his mind. The scene suddenly becomes activated. It was inspired by a minor character called, "Helen". He suddenly breaks the silence as he shouts her name in a deep hollow voice. That scene is perfectly done. With that instant he finds the exact method to sort out the infinite possibilities to solve the problem every day. Then he shares it with others. Then all start to work in a hurry to see the outcome. They find the exact keywords in Enigma's machine. Then they apply new settings to the decrypting machine and wait for the results to be born. All of them are eyeing the machine, not even a breath is heard except the strange sound of the machine. It stops at a point, sinking the entire audience in a dead silence. Everyone's body language asks, "Did it work?". A result has been generated and Allen and the team use that, to decrypt a message. It makes the climax of the movie. Their discovery makes the solution! We see everyone hug Allen with a huge happiness. Tears come out of Allen's eyes. He and the rest do a brilliant job in making that cheerful moment spread inside the viewers' minds as well.

After their sensational discovery, Allen had to keep this a secret and decide the further plans. There he has to make the decisions without taking any emotional filters in the mind, in order to stop the entire disaster. "Peter" the young boy's character who is performed by, Matthew Beard makes the audience's heart sink for a while, as he mentions an upcoming destruction that makes his brother lost in a sorrowful manner. He tries to explain every possible way to reverse Allen's decision. But Allen had to take the most logical and safe movement, considering the big picture.

Another secret is well buried, until the end comes up. The commander's suspicion wasn't baseless at all. There was a very tricky liar right inside the team. It was, John who is cleverly portrayed by, Allen Leech. When he sees it is closer to uncovering, he uses the other end of the string to control Allen with one of his most sensitive secrets. We are taught a very good example, of the way it happened. Once Allen reveals his weakness to John. He converts it into a trump. The script teaches us a sharp lesson, not to reveal any of our weaknesses until; he or she get verified as a true friend.

Allen's superior chief officer was played by, Mark Strong. He creates a deep, thinking personality in his acting. He has been monitoring everything since the beginning in a rock-solid manner. He settles all the issues on the procedure without being noticed by anyone.

And the entire context of the movie highlights, how a single behavior can lead a great personality into the dust. Finally, Allen reveals his hidden truth to, Joan who loves him even more than her life. First, she gets shocked, but despite the fault he carried out she begs for his love. It's all because she loved him from the bottom of her heart without judging, from the external consequences. She seriously wanted to extend their affair into a marriage. She describes the possibility of that. Even though Allen also cares about her, he again tells a lie that he used her only as a tool to solve the crisis. Her heart is broken with that statement. We see how Kierra depicts realistic emotions on her face. Then she slaps him on the face and tells him that he was a monster. And finally, the team who worked so hard for the secret mission departs as if they have never met.

Though it's less concerned, the investigator Nock who appears from the beginning scene to the end, is also doing a great job of the storyline. We, as the audience, see the story from his perspective mostly. It is portrayed by Rory Kinnear. Almost before the final scene, Allen asks the investigator, to judge him. That deep question is not only targeting him but also the entire audience. How can we judge Allen? It's quite an impossible thing. In the movie see how his own soul gets decrypted and dissolved into pieces, right in front of our eyes. In the final scene, Allen recalls that even his best friend Christopher hadn't told the complete truth to him.

During his punishment period, Allen is ordered to get treated. There, we enter the final scene. Joan meets again Allen and she still cares about him, though she is married to someone else. As we see throughout the movie, Allen running along an endless path, I see it as a metaphor for his restless mind. She tries his best to see a smile on his pale face, by recalling all the good deeds he had done for the world. Allen cries along with her. With her, the audience cries too. That scene is at the next level. Allen keeps saying that he can't live without the anti-enigma machine which he believes, like the soul of his best friend ever.

Throughout 114 minutes the director and a crew consists of hundreds of creative minds behind the movie, take us on a mind-alarming journey with a superbly curated script and a set of very good effects, in both visual and sound aspects. The movie again questions us about our final goal. That is the peace of mind. It invites us to see the severity of the restless, endless run. I need to specially mention that the movie contains some real-world footage as well; so it makes a much more alive thing. The music we felt so heartily which makes us cheer, sorrow, frustrated, alarmed, and crying was composed by, Alexandre Desplat.

As a result of creating this masterpiece, the movie was nominated for 166 International film awards and secured 49 victories. Most importantly, it won the Academy Award for "Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay" which was done by Graham Moore. It took 14 million USD to make this a reality and it was able to receive a global net collection of 233,555,708 USD.

Finally, I would like to enhance that, I only tried to evaluate the movie, not the real character of Allen Turing. As most people say, dramatic events are created in the plot to make this a movie, and the complexity of real scenarios is reduced in some places. So I believe that you got a new view on The Imitation Game Movie with this critique.


About the Creator

P.A.Vinura Jayasanka

Hi! I'm an Engineering student who is passionate on poetry and movie critiques with mastering both creative and analytical aspects. You can follow me on facebook:

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Comments (2)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran2 months ago

    Though it's quite an old movie, I've still not watched it. Well written review!

  • Esala Gunathilake2 months ago

    I know you are well talented!

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