Orlando And Morten Tyldum's The Imitation Game

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In Sally Potter’s Orlando (1992), and Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game (2014), society’s expectations of gender and sexuality develop the crucial motivations behind the central character’s decisions throughout both films. From the Elizabethan era to the Second World War, these characters experience diverse cultural and historical periods, each with their own definitions of gender roles and sexuality. By comparing and contrasting these conventions throughout both films, audiences can explore how social conventions inhibit one’s wellbeing. In addition to providing an insight into how Orlando achieves satisfaction in his/her life in a way Alan Turing does not.
Despite differing time periods, both Potter and Tyldum explore how the protagonists’
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I 've spent entirely too much of my life worried about what you think of me or what my parents think of me.. And do you know what? I 'm done. This is the most important work I will ever do and no one is going to stop me. (Tyldum, 2014; 1:32:17 – 1:34:35).
As Joan recognises how valuable her work is, she rebukes Turing’s dismissal, breaking the conventions of her gender to continue her work decrypting German codes, and ultimately becoming an instrumental aspect in helping to win the war. Through exploring how Orlando and Joan were marginalized by society’s ideals about the role of women, both films illustrate the negative impacts of conforming to these social conventions, and how through challenging these expectations of females, these women come to understand their importance in society.
Exploring themes of gender and sexuality, Orlando and The Imitation Game provide insight into how the social expectations of Eighteenth Century and World War Two Britain inhibit the protagonists’ ability to achieve fulfilment within their lives. As the central characters conform, challenge and defy society’s views of gender roles and homosexuality, the directors encourage the audience to consider how contentment in life can only be achieved through breaking social conventions, not by conforming to
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