The story of American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb.
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
It’s Review Time: 8
Cast and Crew:
- Director – Christopher Nolan
- Music – Ludwig Goransson
- Cillian Murphy plays J. Robert Oppenheimer
- Robert Downey Jr. plays Lewis Strauss
- Florence Pugh plays Jean Tatlock
- Emily Blunt plays Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer
- Matt Damon plays Lieutenant Colonel Leslie Groves Jr.
- Tom Conti plays Albert Einstein
- Josh Hartnett plays Ernest Lawrence
- Dylan Arnold plays Frank Oppenheimer, brother of J. Robert Oppenheimer
- David Dastmalchian plays William Bordern
- Garry Oldman plays Harry S. Truman
- Casey Affleck plays Boris Pash
- Benny Safdie plays Edward Teller
- Kenneth Branagh plays Niels Bohr
- Jason Clarke plays Roger Robb
- David Krumholtz plays Isidor Isaac Rabi
“Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.”
– J. Robert Oppenheimer
The movie Oppenheimer covers a brief time of the life of Julius Robert Oppenheimer. The film does not covers the basic details like birth, early life, death, or even the characters Oppenheimer meets in his life.
The movie begins at the point where we see Oppenheimer still a student at Cambridge University, where he develops an antagonistic relationship with his Chemistry tutor, Patrick Blackett, who he even tried to kill by poisoning his apple.
And as it’s a Christopher Nolan movie, the entire movie progresses in a non-linear time where we see Lewis Strauss explaining the past of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the entire lead-up to the making of atomic bombs and Oppenheimer being prosecuted to his junior lawyers.
“I don’t know if we can be trusted with such a weapon. But I know the Nazis can’t. We have no choice.”
– J. Robert Oppenheimer
What a visual spectacle and cinematic experience Christopher Nolan provides to us again. Even though Nolan stumbled in his last outing with Tenet, where he could not explain the story to his audience, he make a comeback with Oppenheimer.
Whether it is his non-linear storytelling structure which creates and hypes the tension to its peak as we approach the end of the movie.
The formation and conducting of the courtroom scene which was shot in black and white, whereas the closed room prosecution is shot in coloured was one of the best courtroom scenes I have ever watched in any movie or series. The entire build-up that is carried out throughout the movie and comes to a culmination as the third act of the movie begins was the most intense courtroom sequence that has ever taken place in the history of film-making.
The music by Ludwig Goranssen plays a major part in making a great movie into a masterpiece. Even if one is not able to understand the seriousness or intensity of the overall situation and scenarios the characters are facing in the movie, music helps and enhances the movie-watching experience as the music gets louder and more intense if something wrong goes on. As every movie lover knows that Christopher Nolan worked with Hans Zimmer for a long time till Dunkirk, Ludwig Goranssen makes no mistake in enhancing the movie experience of the Nolan movie. Ludwig currently might not be as well known as Hans Zimmer, but he has surely portrayed his talent worldwide with movies like Oppenheimer itself, and other movies like Tenet, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and many more.
The wide range of actors that were used in the entire movie was something rare to watch. Each and every actor used in the movie was either how are well-known worldwide for the roles they played. But even the actors who had less screen time than compared to the main cast were the ones who have been playing a lead roles in various series and movies they have acted in. It was really surprising to see actors like Rami Malek, Jack Quaid, Josh Peck, Gary Oldman, Matthias Schweighofer, Casey Affleck, Michael Angarano, and many more appear for a role of hardly a minute or two. But in those couple of minutes, these actors make their presence feel to the audience. Even the importance the director maintains for the characters and actors themselves who take their characters seriously can not be appreciated enough. We see these characters sitting in the background, doing nothing but listening and maintaining the importance of the scene and the entire story was fantastic to watch.
The accuracy of history and science remains top-notch as in every other Christopher Nolan movie. Whether it was portraying the sad history again where Oppenheimer create the bomb, or when he goes through the entire politics of credits being taken by various politicians and top-level administrators. And even the science behind creating the atomic bomb or the explosion we witness in the Trinity test, where, unlike the rest of the movies, we see the concept of light travelling faster than sound.
If you are planning to watch the movie, you should definitely watch it. Yes, there has been a lot of noise regarding the IMAX 70mm screens, but the entire Trinity test scene is about 5 minutes. Yes, we get a more and better view in the IMAX scenes but it is not something that will make an earth-shattering experience for you. The movie remains the same. But make sure the screen you will be watching on is good, at least 2k, the auditorium is big and is equipped with Dolby Atmos Surround Sound. These things will surely give you a wonderful cinematic experience.
“Tell Groves to shit in his hat. Be yourself. Only better.”
– Isidor Isaac Rabi
5 things I liked about Oppenheimer:
Even though 5 points are less to denote the things that I liked in the movie, that is why I will be covering my favourite points in this section. For learning more things that I liked about the movie, check out the Review section where I have covered the remaining aspects as well.
- It is not a Christopher Nolan movie if the story is not narrated in a non-linear structure. Even if the story is not told to us in an irregular format, Nolan makes sure that the culmination of the movie in the second and third acts leaves the audience overwhelmed.
- The music given by Ludwig Goransson was one of the best thing in the movie. Whether it is a sad, intense, or romantic scene, Ludwig provides the perfect score for the movie and carried the aura of Nolan along to give the best experience to the audience.
- The acting performance was given by every actor, whether it was a small role or a big one, each and everyone gave one of the best performances which makes the movie what it has started achieving. I won’t be surprised if the movie even bags a couple of Oscars this year, if they don’t, it will be a real shame on the administrators of the Oscars.
- The acting performance of Robert Downey Jr. and Cillian Murphy might easily be one of their best performances in their career. Although Cillian Murphy performed as he was expected, being the main lead around whom the story revolves.
But the one who surprises us the most was Robert Downey Jr. Since the first Iron Man movie came out, RDJ has been performing and portraying the roles of charming, elegant, charismatic main leads and has excellently nailed those roles as those roles even suit his personality. But the way RDJ plays Lewis Strauss has to be his career’s best performance. Robert Downey Jr. plays a role of a jealous man who feels inferior to the accomplishments Oppenheimer achieved in his career and later even humiliates Strauss. We see Robert always in the background, not having a bigger role to play, and later plotting allegations to destroy the career and life of Oppenheimer. Robert Downey Jr. perfectly nails the role of an antagonist and I will be looking forward for him to bag some awards for his excellent performance.
- The pace of the movie remains fantastic throughout the duration. As a viewer, you really need to stick to the screen and pay your fullest attention while watching the movie. Even the slightest distraction will cause you to lose the plot of the movie as the dialogues come in very fast from each and every actor, the movie has been excellently edited and hardly wastes a single minute dwelling on unnecessary aspects. The movie is on a light pace during the first act, but as soon as the second act starts where we see Oppenheimer and his team begin to prepare the bomb, the movie picks up its pace and later comes to the fullest speed of narration during the third act.
If you are going to watch the movie, I would suggest you to have your phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode and not engage in a conversation with whom you went to watch the movie.
“Just because we are building, it doesn’t mean we get to say how it gets used.”
– J. Robert Oppenheimer
Things I disliked about Oppenheimer:
I went in to watch the movie expecting that I will get to witness and watch the scene of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Although it would have been a mind-blowing experience to watch something like this in a Nolan movie as he would have nailed everything to perfection. Yes, I might have expected a lot from the movie, but there is no other director from whom I can expect to pull off such things. Instead, rather than making a spectacle out of the movie, Christopher Nolan keeps us in the shoes of Oppenheimer and we are as clueless as him about what kind of devastation might have occurred in those two places in Japan. Later, we do get to see a small scene where Oppenheimer does wonder about the devastation as he is giving the speech to people.