Well I don’t know about you, but when I first watched the trailer for The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch, I didn’t quite know what to think about it…I wasn’t convinced of the need to go and see it, but I’m so pleased that I did! Alan Turing’s story was crying out to be told and I left the cinema deeply moved; this man was treated badly just because he was gay and, as a result, he was driven to commit suicide. Why on earth doesn’t everybody know his story? This was the question Benedict kept asking during the press tour for the film.
The man who cracked the German Enigma code is, I believe, one of our greatest heroes. The father of modern computing, Turing was ahead of his time and thank heavens we had him on our side – imagine if this great mathematical brain had not been part of the Allies, I dread to think! Last year, the Queen granted him a posthumous pardon for the conviction of ‘gross indecency’. It followed a long campaign and a petition signed by more than 37,000 people.
I couldn’t think of a better actor to play the part of Turing than Benedict. Witnessing the rise and fall of this great man required a sensitivity which Benedict brings to the role. It could be his best performance to date aside from the Sherlock TV series. It’s often said that the greatest geniuses in this world possess a streak of madness or an obsession of some sort and this could be said of Turing and his dogged determination to crack the code. Nothing was going to stand in his way.
A film of many layers, The Imitation Game gives fresh understanding to a previously misunderstood character. A sensitive portrayal of a tortured genius who will never be forgotten. ***** (5 out of 5 stars)
I for one never learned about Turing at school as part of lessons on World War Two and it got me thinking if this is still the case? After doing some research, I stumbled across this code breaking competition which was open to seven to 11-year-olds in the North West to help mark the centenary of the birth of Turing in 2012. What a fantastic idea and a great opportunity to ensure future generations do not forget the life and research of Alan Turing.