The Imitation Game Review

The Imitation Game Review

Kelsey Locante '17, Staff Writer

“Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.” The Imitation Game artfully depicted a time when, seemingly, all hope was lost – World War II.  The Germans had enhanced a machine, called Enigma, that would encode and disguise German messages.  The machine had hundreds of thousands of settings, so when you typed in a letter a different one would come out.  These machines were vital to the Germans because no Allied country could decipher the messages. To combat this problem the British military assembled a workforce of  highly intelligent people, including Alan Turing, to attempt to decipher the messages.

Their task was not an easy one, and for a while seemingly impossible.  Alan Turing, who was a genius, envisioned a machine that could decode the messages in a faster amount of time than it took the task force.  This machine is what you are reading this article on – a computer.  Although his invention did not work at first, the team was able to make it more efficient and the war seemed to be won.  Unfortunately, it was not that simple; Turing and his colleagues had to keep their accomplishment a secret from the Germans.  If the Germans had learned that Engima was cracked, then they would have created a new code and the team would have returned to square one.  As devastating as it was to allow innocent people to die, the cracking of Enigma shortened the span of the war and saved many lives.  Throughout this time, Turing was also dealing with his own personal problems.  As a homosexual living in 1940s Britain, Turing was facing jail time or “hormonal treatments” if his sexual orientation was discovered.  Eventually his secret was discovered and he made the difficult decision to take the hormonal treatment.

Despite the successes he had in his life, it ultimately ended in suicide, which is how the movie ends.  Although some of the story was extremely dramatized, it does accurately depicts most of Turing’s life.  I feel that this movie, despite its dramatization, conveys the reality of the World War II era and its various tragedies.  Overall, I highly recommend this movie to anyone who has an interest in history, computer science, and intrigue.