Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Imitation Game.



Last Tuesday before I got ill, we went to see ‘The Imitation Game’ starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kiera Knightly and Rory Kinnear.

As a film about the brilliant mathematician and code breaker Alan Turing it had everything going for it; the story of the breaking of the Enigma Codes is one of the greatest tales ever told.

It maintained the excitement and used the fine cast well. There were problems, though.

One of the key scenes was the spiky interview Turing underwent to work at Bletchley Park. Except it didn’t happen like that – Turing was already working for GCHQ’s predecessor breaking Enigma in 1938 before the war started.

Even more dishonest is the portrayal of John Cairncross, the Soviet spy, as working with Turing and blackmailing him for his silence. Cairncross worked in a different area of Bletchley and didn’t have any role with Turing.

Unfairly, the contribution of Tommy Flowers from the Post office is never even mentioned yet he had a central role in building the revolutionary computer.

Turing’s hounding and suicide after the war is dealt with in detail and rightly so. This summer, we went to see the first performance of the Pet Shop Boys work celebrating Alan Turing’s life and royal pardon.

It’s an intelligent thriller but it could have done better. Then again, with a story where everybody knows the ending, you have to work hard to build the suspense.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

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