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The Imitation Game

By Miranda Wagner, Columnist

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StudioCanal

In desperation for relief from Nazi attacks, the British became desperate for assistance in breaking the Nazi code, “Enigma.” They gathered the best mathematicians, cryptanalysts, scholars, and linguists around to decode the intercepted messages the Germans put out every day at midnight while changing their key alongside it. Main character Alan Turing displayed an unusual personality with an array of dry sarcasm and humor, and a standoff attitude. Throughout the movie, there are flashbacks to Alan’s childhood giving insight to where he first fell in love with cryptology and an older boy from school. Alan plunges into his work, the way he had always done it, alone and without the support of the army.

The reasoning of his “loner” attitude, was explained when his childhood love had passed away due to a deadly illness over school break. His plan was to create a machine that would intercept the codes given by the Nazi along with the key to decode the encrypted messages. Trying and failing time after time, it was not until he allowed help from the others in the group to assist. “Hail Hitler” and the weather report, were the phrases that gave way to insight on the codes the Germans were using. Success was given to the group of intelligent beings, and there was an evident need to decipher when the timing was correct to pursue their knowledge of the Nazi plans. In order to avoid exploiting their invention to the German’s knowledge, the team carefully carried out attack plans against them.

They were able to keep their invention under their control and tactically aided in the destruction of the German regime.   During this era, homosexuality was illegal.   After Alan Turing and a younger man made homosexual contact, Turing was charged with gross indecency. To avoid jail time, Turing opted to undergo hormone therapy, which later led to his decision to commit suicide. Later noted in the movie, Queen Elizabeth pardoned Alan Turing of his previous conviction and recognized him as a war hero and code breaker.

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