“Oppenheimer” is a 2023 biographical thriller written and directed by Christopher Nolan. It is based on the biography “American Prometheus” by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. Starring Cillian Murphy as well as Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr, Emily Blunt and Florence Pugh, it subverts the usual biopic formula to create a brilliant, multi- layered examination of a man with all his incredible achievements and fundamental flaws.
On August 6, 1945, the atomic bomb “Little Boy” was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, marking the first time an atomic weapon was used in an act of war. The dropping of this bomb and “Fat Man” in Nagasaki three days later essentially ended World War II, ushering in a frightening new era known as the “Atomic Age.” To this day, there is controversy over whether the ethical implications of these bombings are justified by the consequences. The man most people place all the blame on is J. Robert Oppenheimer, whose key role in the development of these weapons led to his being called the “father of the atomic bomb,” a label he carried as a heavy burden for the rest of his life.
Another notable aspect of Nolan’s direction is his ingenuity in the way he handles certain important scenes. One moment, which I will not go into, literally blew my mind when we watch Oppenheimer and the other scientists test the prototype bombs, each explosion turning out to be bigger than the last. Having made clear his distaste for the use of CGI in his films, Nolan instead opts for more practical methods to show the increasing power of these bombs. It gives the scientists one more reason to work even faster to beat the enemy at their own game. The explosion of each bomb can be compared to a ticking clock, with each explosion representing progress toward perfecting the ultimate weapon. The creative use of cuts in these scenes keeps the pace brisk, which is necessary given the film’s three-hour running time. Nolan has already shown a similar method in 2017’s “Dunkirk,” where he cleverly used the film’s score to show the audience how time is really running out. Once again, Nolan has found a clever way to get around the easy path of using CG effects to tell a story, and keeps the audience on their toes with good old-fashioned directorial work.
Cillian Murphy gives the best performance of his career in the role of J. Robert Oppenheimer, which is so complex I can not imagine how much pressure there was to play him so effectively. This is not a man to be taken simply at face value, as his character is so complex that he requires the kind of in-depth examination that only a film like this can provide. The film paints Oppenheimer as neither hero nor villain, but rather as a complicated man whose human qualities undermine what he will stand for in the history books. Murphy approaches him like a Shakespearean character, full of weaknesses, arrogance and a certain hubris that seals his inevitable fate. In one scene you admire his remarkable talents in the field of nuclear physics, in another you hate him for his infidelity to his family. You can simultaneously see him as a martyr and a scapegoat for helping to end the deadliest global conflict in history, while at the same time conjuring up something even worse.
The rest of the film’s cast also all did fantastic work, with Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr, Emily Blunt and Florence Pugh leading the way. Damon’s portrayal of Major General Leslie Groves is more than just an ordinary military figure, but rather an important character who seizes the opportunity to use Oppenheimer’s talents to his advantage. We watch Groves form an unlikely alliance with the physicist, often questioning the implications of the theoretical nature of experiments with nuclear energy. Groves’ ignorance of Oppenheimer’s extensive scientific knowledge allows the audience to learn with him as it is explained in basic detail. In this sense, he provides an important third-person perspective on Oppenheimer’s achievements.
More Blogs to Read:-