‘The Imitation Game’ Portrays Unknown Hero of WWII

Sean Steer, Staff Reporter

Everyone knows World War II heroes like Patton and Churchill, but most people haven’t even heard of Alan Turing.  That should change with “The Imitation Game,” a historical drama about Turing, the British mathematician and logician who cracked the Nazi Enigma code during WWII.

This Morten Tyldum film begins in 1939 in London with Turing, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, getting on a train in London going to Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire. Turing is headed for an interview for a job at Hut 8, the Government Code and Cypher School.

Hut 8 was primarily tasked to solve the German naval codes the Nazis sent daily. These codes were vital to win the war because every naval attack was sent through them, but it was extremely difficult because the Nazis changed the code every day. The Enigma machine could change the settings of the code 159 million million million different ways, which is why it was deemed impossible to crack.

While the others at Hut 8 were trying to manually crack the code every day, Turing drew blueprints for a machine that was going to break the code. Thinking he wasn’t trying to break the code, Turing’s partners tried to shut down his machine funding. Prime Minister Churchill intervened and gave Turing the funding and put him in charge of Hut 8.

The Enigma code was eventually broken, but the hardest part was still to come. Since the British knew the location of every German U-boat and when they would attack, they had to make the difficult decision whether to inform the ships being attacked. The British couldn’t stop every attack because then the Germans would know that their code was broken.

This film is fantastic because of many things, the first of which is the acting. Cumberbatch did a great job portraying an awkward genius. He also portrays Turing’s homosexuality — how he hides it, as well as how he is persecuted for it.

Cumberbatch was nominated for a Golden Globe and is nominated for the upcoming Oscars for Best Actor. Kiera Knightley, who plays coworker Joan Clarke, also did a very good job and is nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Other strengths of the film are the decently accurate plot and the score. The score was done by Alexandre Desplat, and it goes very well with the movie.

“The Imitation Game” is up for eight Oscars. These nominations are for Best Motion Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Production Design and Best Score.