Movie Review: The Imitation Game

Caveat Lector: I am a professing Christian, and I would classify myself as a very conservative person. I believe what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. For a brief understanding of these views, here’s an interview with John Piper. That being said, I have tried to put as much thought and tact as I can into these words. It’s my desire to be understood, not  misinterpreted.

Review: I thought The Imitation Game was a really great story. It tells about Alan Turing, the man behind the machine that ultimately led to digital computers. Along with a team of analysts, he helped crack the Nazi code “Enigma,” which saved countless lives and probably shortened WWII by years. This synopsis alone was enough to get me into the theatre! I’m very much into any movie that deals with history or little known stories. I thought that the historical elements of this movie were fascinating. These people working on the code were incredibly smart–to be honest, it made my brain smoke.

From the human interest side, I understand why the directors and actors chose to focus on Turing’s homosexuality. It is apparent from watching the film that Turing was mistreated because of his homosexuality from an early age through adulthood. Regrettably, his life ended with a suicide that no doubt sprang from the endless assaults and frustrations he endured, not least of all the chemical castration or “hormone therapy” to which he was sentenced. Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Turing, does a remarkable job at showing the damage to Turing’s psyche that these affronts caused.

From the religious/conservative side, I did feel that at times the makers of the film were trying to push a liberal agenda on me–it almost seemed as if they were saying the only way Turing could have accomplished this feat was because he was a homosexual. That seems like a fallacy to me. Religious differences aside, I thought the movie did a really good job of portraying someone who feels helpless in their situation. Turing, with all the possibilities that intelligence could afford, still needed a savior desperately. In that regard, isn’t he just like me? While I cannot condone his lifestyle, I recognize that he is like me, created in the image of God, and desperately in need of Jesus.

I encourage Christians not to be put off by the messages about homosexuality in this film. I believe that we as Christians can remain firm in our convictions while also being sensitive to the hurts of others. Aristotle said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” While I do not accept Turing’s way of life as healthy or pleasing to God, I can view him as a puzzling figure, a man who helped saved lives but who could not, in the end, save his own. There is only one Man who can save us:

“But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”

-Hebrews 7:24-25