Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘The Imitation Game’ (2014)

The Weinstein Company

The Weinstein Company

The Uranian archetype of genius, innovation and unconventional habits could not have found a better conduit than Alan Turing, the British mathematician heralded for having cracked Germany’s Enigma code, which was used to communicate that country’s secret plans and activities during WWII.

Directed by Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game has, as its hero, an unlikely and often unlikeable chap with a penchant for crossword puzzles. Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) is standoffish, socially awkward, has a bit of a stammer and can’t even accept an invitation to lunch with his co-workers – they’re all working under top security conditions at Bletchley Park – without making it turn into some irritating legal procedural. Although picked by Winston Churchill to head the team, Turing is, as they say, not a joiner, and would rather creatively generate the know-how to bring the war to a close all by himself. “These men will only slow me down,” he says.

Despite his cockiness, however, he displays a more appealing side of Uranian proclivities through his fearless embrace of everything futuristic and progressive. He hires a qualified female mathematician, Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley), to work in a sea of men. And, as a gay man at a time when England considered homosexuality a punishable act, he was not afraid to color outside the lines.

However, the most Uranian hallmark of the movie is Turing’s commitment, on behalf of the collective, to beating the enemy who were cleverly manipulating time to their utmost advantage. The Germans changed their code daily, making whatever work the Bletchley team did to deconstruct it over the previous 24 hours worthless. A machine that could hurry up the process might solve the problem. Turing had the goods – Uranus rules high tech, computers and enlightenment – to make it happen. Turing’s Machine, as it was affectionately called, is now regarded as a prototype of data-manipulation.

The Imitation Game straddles another enigma: Turing, a truly eccentric and robotic figure, applied his extraordinary passionate intelligence towards working for the benefit of  humans with whom he never quite managed to bond.

Archetype: Genius. Tech Wizard. Innovator. Futurist. Progressive Thinker. Mathematician. Puzzle Solver. Unconventionality.

Astrology Archetype: ♅ (Uranus)


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