Director: Morten Tyldum // Year of release: 2014
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode… // 114 minutes
Seen in March 2015
Synopsis (from IMDb)
During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.
Alan Turing, the man who broke the Nazi Enigma code, saved over 14 million lives, shortened the war by approximately 2 years, invented the premise for what we know today as computers, and who was condemned to chemical castration because he was a homosexual and whose name and accomplishments were forgotten during the writing of History books. It is revolting.
But let’s try to focus on the movie, and not the true story behind it too much.
The movie is not told linearly, we jump back and forth from Turing’s childhood in boarding school, his years in the military trying to break the Enigma code, and the aftermath: his life as an almost recluse, working on his “Turing machine” (which we now call computers) and suffering from the side effects of hormonal treatment after he was found guilty of gross indecency (being gay).
I do understand the choice of telling the story in that way, probably to make the movie a little bit more dynamic, but I found it confusing. At times I didn’t understand “when” we were; especially in the beginning when we go from “war time” to the later investigation against him.
I was also confused by the soviet spy angle. I don’t understand why it had to be there or why it was important. Probably something more improtant in grand scheme of things in times of war; but in the context of this movie and specifically to the story, apart from the fact that the spy threatens to out Turing’s secret if he tells who the spy is, I don’t see the point of it.
Even though the story is incredibly powerful, the movie was a little weak in comparison. I am still giving it 3.5/5 stars because if I’m honest, I have a hard time separating the story from the movie-making. I do think that this movie should be widely shown, in school even, because it shows a very important part of History that virtually no one knew about before the film came to be, and this story and this man’s name should be known.