The Imitation Game: Gratuity-Free, You’re Welcome.

I’ve heard about Alan Turing’s story before watching The Imitation Game, starring my favorite Brit, Benedict Cumberbatch. I knew that he was a gay math genius who broke the German’s Enigma machine, then got arrested for indecency that led to his chemical castration and eventual suicide.

I was preparing myself for hard-to-watch gay scenes (as I’m a prude straight woman, I usually close one eye on these scenes) and the suicide scene which I predicted would make me bawl as if I’m having my PMS. I was also prepared to be annoyed by Keira Knightly (not a huge fan).

Wouldn’t you know it there were non of that at all! Not one gay sex scene in a movie about a homosexual! That’s amazing! The suicide scene I was waiting for didn’t materialize either. And Keira Knightly was believable and not annoying at all.

As expected, Benedict Cumberbatch was excellent. How could he not be? Alan Turing was basically Sherlock Holmes. There were some controversy about Benedict’s quote on Metro about people assuming his characters have some form of autism. But clearly, Alan Turing is displaying some serious signs of Aspergers Syndrome.

Mathew Goode was good (haha). He’s truly one of the hottest British actors today(I loved him since Chasing Liberty). His character was a perfectly charming complement to Benedict’s socially awkward one. And how about the Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones cross-over, huh? I still kept seeing Charles Dance as Tywin Lannister in an army uniform, instead of his armour. Allen Leech aka Tom Branson in Downton Abbey as the spy for the Soviet Union I think was a bit far-fetched as he has a naturally kind face that could do no evil.

I like how the film was structured, going to and fro from the last moments of his life, to war time, and his childhood days at boarding school. It clearly illustrates where he’s been and how it affects his present circumstances. It made the audience more sympathetic as they understand Alan as a person and not just the genius who broke the German encryption.

I love the portrayal of his friendship with his team including Keira’s character, Joan. How she could agree to be his wife knowing he was gay truly made me admire her more. It made me think about my own gay best friend who I definitely don’t see marrying as I am a normal person without a genius IQ as is he.

I can see why this movie is nominated for a variety o awards including the Oscars. Too bad they didn’t win. But still, cheers to Alan Turing as he ushered in the age of the Digital Computer.

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Gone Girl: Misogynist or Feminist? Who Cares?

I just watched this movie and I loved it! I was planning on reading the book first but I’m stuck in a rut lately. I’ve not finished a damn book for months; I think I need to have my internet taken away!

Anyway, I now realized what everyone was raving about. Gone Girl is an absolutely smart and unique take on the mystery and thriller genre. The plot was a bit outrageous but not entirely implausible.

Relating to the feminist context, I thought the movie is very feminist but after seeing that shocking scene with Barney, I mean Neil Patrick Harris, and Amy’s (SPOILERS!) eventual return to her husband, Nick, who’s now afraid of her, I thought that’s a bit misogynistic. But who could blame him really?

The story turns the battered wife-abusive husband trope on it’s head. In Gone Girl, it’s the wife who’s a violent pyschopath who manipulates her victims and audience to her bidding. What’s interesting is everyone’s reaction to what was happening. I’m sure that the media won’t be so forgiving if it was a man who came back bloodied after murdering a woman, even if that woman kidnapped him and used him as a sex slave, meanwhile causing his wife to become a suspect in his “murder.”

It’s fascinating how Nick (Ben Afleck) in the end, feels trapped by his marriage to a woman he’s afraid could hurt him in his sleep. It echoes the majority of battered women trapped in a loveless marriage, forced to live under the thumb of their male partners.

On the other hand, I thought that the movie is also feminist as it shows that women can take control and direct their lives to where they want to be (although faking your death to frame your husband might not be such a good example to women). She used every weapon she had, including her sexuality, to get what she wants.

The very open ending of this film might cause frustration on the part of the audience but I don’t mind it at all. It allows us to imagine how their lives would become. Would he finally get the guts to leave and get a divorce? Would she eventually get a gun and shoot him in the head as he snores? (And sing “he had it comin'” “he only got himself to blame…”) Or would the town wake up to a murder with Nick Dunne holding the box cutter, this time?

We may never know…