Benedict Cumberbatch has been brought to the spotlight as an incredibly fun and talented actor. His hit show Sherlock (fantastic) and this movie the Imitation Game, display his talents playing a character with internal intellect and external awkwardness. In this movie he plays Alan Turing, a mathematical genius who pioneers computer science during and after World War II.
(The next part contains SPOILERS, so fair warning.)
He struggles socially. The normal genius “dorkishness” is actually much more extreme in Alan’s case, which leads to a superiority complex. He is obviously smarter than everyone, leading him to believe he is better than everyone and needs no one. During the film, his secret organization organized by the British government creates a machine to crack the enigma code used by the Germans. But, in order to not reveal that the British have cracked the code, they must strategically and statistically decide which German missions to interfere with and which to leave alone.
Alan Turing is also gay. In the United Kingdom homosexual acts were still considered a crime under the Labouchere Amendment. So while hiding his most important intellectual achievement he also needed to hide his personal desires. This movie depicts the struggle all of society has with difference.
This is one of my favorite quotes from the movie, it depicts the movie’s key purpose so well; Alan Turing is quoted saying:
- Of course machines can’t think as people do. A machine is different from a person. Hence, they think differently. The interesting question is, just because something, uh.. thinks differently from you, does that mean it’s not thinking? Well, we allow for humans to have such divergences from one another. You like strawberries, I hate ice-skating, you cry at sad films, I am allergic to pollen. What is the point of…of… different tastes, different… preferences, if not, to say that our brains work differently, that we think differently? And if we can say that about one another, then why can’t we say the same thing for brains… built of copper and wire, steel?
We all think differently, and that is just okay.