The Imitation Game
Good morning, y’all. I don’t know how many sunny days we’ve had in a row, but I ain’t complaining. We had a real strong storm pass through a week or so ago that left blue skies in its wake. It was such a stunning sight that I started to take a picture of the sky, then I thought, that’s dumb. If we ever get to the point that we have to look at pictures of a blue sky to remember what one looks like, well we’ve got some serious problems and are probably dealing with some sort of new reality.
Speaking of a new reality, Mulva came up with a real surprise selection for our date night movie. I don’t know what possessed her to go the extra mile and reach into the $9.99 video bin at the Walmart, but she did. Maybe she was mistaken and thought all of the bins were supposed to be $2.99, but this week’s selection was clearly over budget. I have to admit, I’m glad Mulva busted the budget on this one. She selected “The Imitation Game”, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightely.
Now, I think Keira Knightely is just as cute as a speckled pup, and I’d be happy to just watch her eat french fries. Benedict Cumberbatch, on the other hand, is not as attractive, in my opinion. So, I’m guessing Mulva was reaching for something bigger than the attractiveness of the stars when she chose the movie.
If Mulva was reaching for a World War II spy movie about a top secret operation that determined the outcome of the war, she grabbed the right movie. Let me not oversimplify or understate the richness of the movie by relegating it to World War II spy movie. It was so, so, much more.
Benedict Cumberbatch is spell binding in the role of Alan Turing. Alan Turing is the British genius that is widely credited, by those who know, as the father of the computer. Turing’s struggles with his contemporaries, as well as the problem of breaking the German code machine, make for a breathless two hour movie. The acknowledgement that women could be as smart as men was revealed in Keira Knightely’s portrayal of Joan Clarke. The fact that she had to work in the background on the program to not hurt any of the male’s egos, is a savage indictment of the times. The fact that Turing had to hide his homosexuality from his contemporaries and his employers, is also an indictment of the times.
The fascination for me was watching several brilliant minds work on a problem that only a machine could solve quickly enough for the solution to be usable. Making the machine faster and faster was the issue. Turing used his brilliance to make what is considered to be the first computer, capable of revealing the code quick enough to be useful to the military. Turing had to make these extraordinary advancements while fighting off the jealousies of his teammates and a Russian spy embedded in his team. Good stuff.
The movie told Turing’s story accurately, and after the success of solving Enigma, we see Turing live out his days in obscurity because of his sexual orientation. It is so sad that the world chose to not get past its prejudices to reap the benefits of his genius. Talk about “cutting off your nose to spite your face”. We can only imagine what a well-funded, appreciated, Turing could have accomplished.
Turing died at the age of 42 of self induced cyanide poisoning. His genius lost because of the phobias of the less gifted. The following quote of Turing kind of sums it all up for me:
“Science is a differential equation. Religion is a boundary condition.”