Wednesday, December 06, 2023

Oppenheimer Movie Review: Christopher Nolan detonates finest, soul-stirring saga

Nolan superbly tells Oppenheimer’s story in a film that is more than just a historical biopic. It feels like a movie for our times.

Snigdha Sweta Behera Snigdha Sweta Behera Published on: July 21, 2023 18:07 IST
Oppenheimer Movie ReviewPhoto:INSTAGRAM
  • Movie Name:Oppenheimer
  • Critics Rating: 4.5 / 5
  • Release Date: July 21, 2023
  • Director: Christopher Nolan
  • Genre: History

Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan’s staggering film about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the man known as the father of the atomic bomb. A drama about genius, hubris, and error, both individual and collective, it brilliantly charts the turbulent life of the American theatrical physicist who helped research and develop the two atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II- cataclysms that helped usher in our human-dominated age.

At its core, it is a story of urgency and responsibility. The film explores how Oppenheimer, led the charge in the development of the atomic bomb during World War II. The stakes were high as the United States raced against Germany to create this world-altering weapon.

Cillian Murphy, in what can only be described as a career-defining performance, embodies the enigmatic Oppenheimer. His portrayal is magnetic, bringing depth and complexity to this historical figure. It’s no wonder that he’s already being touted as an Oscar contender.

The supporting cast is nothing short of exceptional, with Robert Downey Jr’s return to top-notch acting and Florence Pugh’s mesmerizing presence adding to the film’s brilliance. The chemistry among the cast is undeniable, enhancing the storytelling experience.

Not to forget Emily Blunt as Oppenheimer’s wife Kitty and Matt Damon as General Gloves, leader of the Manhattan Project were astounding in their roles and supported the film throughout. Balancing the film’s equilibrium included big names Gary Oldman, Rami Malek, Casey Affleck, and Kenneth Branagh.

Nolan’s storytelling style is unapologetically relentless, jumping back and forth through time, immersing the viewer in Oppenheimer’s life and the creation of the bomb. It might be requiring some quick mental gymnastics, but the visual cues guide you through this non-linear journey.

With Ludwig Göransson’s background score, the cinematography and the details of expressions on people’s faces will definitely pull you into the world.

This film isn’t just about the atomic bomb; it delves deep into the moral conflicts and the human spirit behind this world-changing invention, the narrative structure, combined with Murphy’s mesmerizing performance will keep you on the edge of your seat, eager to uncover the hidden truths and continuities that shaped Oppenheimer life.

The movie is based on American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the authoritative 2005 biography by Kai Bird and Martin J Sherwin. Written and directed by Nolan, the film borrows liberally from the book as it surveys Oppenheimer’s life, including his role in the Manhattan Engineer District, better known as the Manhattan Project. He served as director of a clandestine weapons lab until built in a near-desolate stretch of Los Alamos, in New Mexico, where he and many others of the era’s most dazzling scientific minds puzzled through how to harness nuclear reactions for the weapons that killed tens of thousands instantly, ending the war in the Pacific.