|But didn't they already know this?
||[Mar. 25th, 2015|09:53 pm]
For all of its brilliance, there is one moment in The Imitation Game which, once I thought about it, actually baffles and slightly annoys me. It annoys me because I don’t understand why it was written that way and it seems kind of stupid. In the end, it cheapens the “aha!” moment of the film.
Now, it could be that I’m just an idiot and am missing something. But, I don’t think so, especially since I’ve re-watched the movie a couple of times and read some articles and things on the scenes in question. So, here’s what baffles me:
Supposedly the “aha!” Alan has at the bar while talking to Helen is that his machine doesn’t have to look through ALL the settings, only those that produce certain words that they know will be in the messages. (He gets this idea from Helen saying that a certain German was starting his messages always with the same five letters, instead of random ones the way he was supposed to.) This makes sense. (I’m actually not completely sure how it would even work otherwise.) So, why didn’t they think of this? Those five (six, counting Jack) geniuses didn’t think of something so quite obvious? But the thing is – they did!
Before going to the bar that night the group has a conversation approximately like this:
Alan: It’s searching. It just doesn’t know what it’s searching for.
Someone: If only we knew what the messages were going to say.
Someone else: If we knew what they were going to say, we wouldn’t need to decode them.
So, basically they already KNEW the trick! They already understood that it would be easier if they had information on what was supposed to come out on the other end. Even if the others didn’t get this, Alan surely did as he understood that his machine would do better if it knew “what it was looking for.” And obviously they already knew that the German’s sent a weather report every day and that the reports ended with “Hiel Hitler.” This isn’t something they got extra information on between this /conversation and Alan’s talk with Helen.
The whole thing does make the lot of them look kind of daft, lol. Maybe I’m misunderstanding the scenes? But that’s what it looks like to me.