Sometimes when I watch movies and they begin with the caption “based on a true story”, I cringe. Am like here goes another Leonardo DiCaprio movie, but this time it was different.
This movie is categorized as a Historical, Drama and Thriller. It starts off a bit moody…Alan Turing’s house being robbed and all and it’s raining, He’s later taken into custody under suspicion of being crazy or a ‘spy’, because no war documents of him exists during the Second World War. The police demand to know who he really is, so he simply tells them in his impeccable British accent “I am going to say this only once so you better listen because I won’t repeat it and DO NOT interrupt me!”
Flashback to the 1930s, we see Alan going to Bletchley Park where his arrogant side ‘comes to life’ he arranged for an interview with Commander Alastair Denniston and tells him in the most narcissist way that he(the Commander) needs him(Allan) in order to crack the Enigma. Alan joins a group of British finest Mathematicians who have been selected to crack the enigma and beat the Nazis.
“The people no one imagines of. Do the things no ever imagines of”.
No sooner had Alan joined the team that he began to feel that the team will drag him behind and sees best that he works alone. This infuriates the team and obviously Alan is seen as a total douche for his apparent arrogance. We are taken back to the 1920s, when a young Alan, the unhappy schoolboy was bullied a lot for his rather weird behaviors, he finds a friend in Christopher, the only person who never saw his flaws. As the friendship grew Christopher gives him a book on Cryptography, Alan quickly takes an interest in it and the two begin exchanging cryptic messages. Alan grows fond of Christopher but just as he is about to express his feelings towards him, sadly Christopher dies of Tuberculosis; with this Alan becomes detached from people and becomes this sort of ‘Walking Mannequin’- no emotions- Fast track back at Bletchley Park he decides to write to Winston Churchill requesting to become his own boss and build a machine (he named Christopher) to combat the Nazis’ Enigma.
“The true enigma was the man who cracked it”
So Winston Churchill grants him permission to build this ‘Christopher’ and assemble his own A-Team, this where Joan Clarke comes in, she becomes sort of Alan’s wife and assistant in his quest to win the war. They incur some disappointments but one day as Alan along with his team were at a bar, one woman (maybe Joan’s friend) says that the German she listens to as she gathers codes keeps mentioning the word ‘CILLY’ as though referring to his love and how they always repeat the same words all the time at the beginning of their messages… with this Alan pauses and says “We have just won the war” all seven of them race back to their stations and begin reading the codes as Alan records each in his machine. They manage to break the codes, but they realize there was a problem… there was a British fleet that was going to be attacked in a few hours. The group, unfortunately was facing a dilemma on whether to report this to their commander or let the fleet be attacked, I kind of understood them… you see if they reported it, the Nazi would know their Enigma had been cracked and they would change their codes.
The British won the war and now the Cryptographers were instructed to destroy all documents pertaining the won including Alan’s machine.
Back to the future, the police were astonished by Alan’s story and didn’t believe because there was no military record of him from the Second World War. Sadly he was convicted of indecency after being accused of sexual indulgence with another man, he chose to undergo chemical castration therapy so he can continue with his work. He later died perhaps committing suicide, no one knows for sure.
Alan Turing, wasn’t given prestige most freedom or war heroes are given for their service but he took with him (in the movie) the one thing that meant the world to him, Christopher.
I loved the way the movie just kept me guessing what Alan Turing would do next, there was something about Benedict Cumberbatch (Alan Turing) and his Sherlock Holmes introduced to James Bond composure that just makes you captivated. My best line from this movie was from Joan Clarke when she went to see Alan when the war was over and said “This morning I was on a train that went through a city that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for you, I bought ticket from a man who would likely be dead if it wasn’t for you…”
7 JUNE 1954.