Movie Review: The Imitation Game

It is almost expected that historical films will diverge from the actual story. “The Imitation Game,” which was released in November of 2014 is no exception. Although, despite the Hollywood glamorization and romanticizing of characters, this film still serves to get a clear message across and spread awareness on the despicable anti-gay laws of the twentieth century.

The film is a loosely interpreted version of Biographer Andre Hodge’s book “Alan Turing: The Enigma.” Alan Turing worked at Bletchley Park with many other crypt-analysts in Britain’s Government Code and Cypher School. Turing cracked German coded messages made by the Enigma with a process he called Banburismus.

The Movie diverges from historical accounts of what actually happened at Bletchley Park and glamorizes characters to be more “Hollywood” worthy. Although the movie portrayed Turing’s team at Bletchley Park as a small, intimate group of Crypt-analysts, in reality thousands of crypt-analysts worked at the Government Code and Cypher School.

The over-romanticizing of Turing’s relationship with Joan Clarke until well into the second half of the movie served as a slight distraction from the actual message being sent about homosexuality and the realities of being gay in the 1940s.

Another historical inconsistency was the fact that the team at Bletchley did not make decisions in which decoded they would utilize or ignore; they decoded the messages and the decisions on whether the information would be used was left to higher authorities.

The suffering that thousands of men and women went through after being prosecuted for homosexuality during the twentieth century is often overlooked, and this film served to bring this aspect of history into the public eye.

 

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