The synopsis of a film does not seem to offer any riddles. His data are explicit: Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch are in “The Imitation Game”, by Morten Tyldum, screenplay by Graham Moore and Andrew Hodges (who wrote the book). The computer was born out of British counterintelligence in World War II, a secret kept for 50 years. A 2014 production that is gaining prominence on Netflix again.
What is the secret of this film that the viewer needs to decipher? The story of a group of experts in cryptography who are summoned to decipher the war messages of the Germans and one of them, the genius Alan Turing creates a machine capable of solving what is hidden in millions of possibilities. There is no known way to tackle the Enigma machine code.
Turing’s machine achieved the feat, participated in the war strategies and with later research generated computers.
Turing committed suicide in 1954 after being forced to undergo chemical castration to escape jail. At the time, homosexuality was a crime.
A secret world war spy story involving a math teacher who remained in obscurity is tightly tied together with flashbacks, documentary footage and the group’s personal dramas.
But when reporting the event, the film uses key scenes, which, being identical to other productions, keep the narrative within the limits of cinema. Because it is not about high mathematics, but a dramatic thriller in which emotion, betrayal, prejudice are linked in a growing number of situations that represent the focused facts.
An example is the sequence in which Turing has an insight at a party when talking to his friend who was deciphering romantic messages from a German using a keyword. He runs off towards his machine that still hadn’t solved the riddle. The repeated word saved endless hours of operation.
Of course this is a cinematic solution and not a reportage. A party doesn’t have that power, only the cinema. Because these competently used resources do not have the staleness of repetition, even if we are used to the same expedient.
The clash of egos has obeyed this recurrent ring in countless films. It starts with a fight and ends with a hug.
These moments, known solutions, are like musical notes: they are repeated, but they create spaces in the narrative, making it charming and not a mass of technical information. That’s the key to the riddle.
Movie: The Imitation Game
Direction: Morten Tyldum