Review: Oppenheimer

Some of the portions of the film have been shot at the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton University where Oppenheimer and Einstein worked together after World War II.


Film: Oppenheimer
Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer, Emily Blunt as his wife, Kitty, Matt Demon and Robert Downey Jr., Rami Malek & Kennewth Branagh
Cinematography: Hoyte van Hoytema
Music: Ludwig Göransson
Special Effects Supervisor: Scott Fisher & Andrew Jackson
Costume Design: Ellen Mirojnick
Duration: 190 minutes
Rating: 4 stars

Director Christopher Nolan comes up with a rivetting masterpiece that is so good that it forces you to keep your eyes transfixed on the screen for the entire duration of three hours and ten minutes.

There’s not a single minute in the film where you can afford to take your eyes off the screen. The intensity with which he narrates the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the man who was first praised for inventing the Atom bomb and then subsequently cursed for it.

The film, which is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin, is just fantastic as it traces the sequence of events leading to Oppenheimer assuming charge of the infamous Manhattan project.

A Jew, who was deeply disturbed by the atrocities the Germans were unleashing on the world in general and his community in particular, the film beautifully shows how the success of the Germans in achieving nuclear fission first, triggered off a rat race between the powers of the world for nuclear supremacy and how a reluctant Oppenheimer had to make the difficult decision of heading a team to make a nuclear bomb. His willingness to make the bomb was a direct outcome of the realisation that whether he chose to help the US make the bomb or not, the Germans were definitely going to have it. His only reason to go ahead and make the bomb was that it would at least act as a deterrent to the Germans, reminding them that others too possessed the infinite power they would possess.

The film does not stop with just showing the invention of the Atomic bomb. It also goes on to show how Oppenheimer lobbied for international control of nuclear power to avert nuclear proliferation and a nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union.

It shows how the man chose to oppose the development of the hydrogen bomb and how he invited the wrath of politicians and bureaucrats, by choosing to speak what was right.

It also shows the man’s fall from grace, for no fault of his. It shows how some petty minds, using his past associations with the Communist Party USA, succeeded in revocating his security clearance, thereby ending his career as a nuclear physicist.

Shot in IMAX format, combining 65 mm large format film photography, the film also includes some portions in black and white analogue photography for the first time ever.

Some of the portions of the film have been shot at the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton University where Oppenheimer and Einstein worked together after World War II.

Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer does a phenomenal job. Emily Blunt as his wife, Kitty, is sharp, swift and fearless. Although her character annoys you in the initial portions of the film, it impresses you in the later portions when she backs her husband to the hilt.

The film is easily Christopher Nolan’s best creation until date and must not be missed at any cost.