“Oppenheimer” being directed by Christopher “Inception“, “Tenet“, “Interstellar“, etc. Nolan and all the talk about it being filmed on specially made Imax cameras, I wondered how Nolan would make the story about the development of the atomic bomb into a visual spectacle. I guessed I would better see it in Imax as it was apparently supposed to.
Well, the film is not that visually spectacular. Sure, there are some ‘visions’ and of course a big explosion, but basically “Oppenheimer” is a historical drama that, in my opinion, does not necessarily have to be watched on the big screen. Is it a good film regardless? Certainly!
Nolan gathered a star cast. Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Robert Downey jr., Jason Clarke, Kenneth Branagh, Gary Oldman and of course Cilian Murphy in the main part in which he can show that he is much more than a Peaky Blinder.
Julius Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967) was an American scientist of Jewish descent. As a brilliant young man he continued where Einstein had stopped and he stood at the cradle of quantum physics. His mind went where few had gone before and his fame soon rose to the stars. He not only reasoned the existence of black holes, but also pondered the possibility of splitting atoms. When during WWII word was that the Nazis were also working on splitting atoms, but then with the reason to create a massive bomb, Oppenheimer used his influence to build a secret research facility in the middle of the American desert to try to outwit the Nazis and see to it that America would have the first nuclear bomb. In his mind, it would only have to be used once. After that, all wars would cease.
Oppenheimer was a colourful person. Just before the communist craze, he showed in interest in communist theories. Even though this was obviously not appreciated, he did not hide his ideas. Brilliant on many fields, many people forgave him for his ‘indiscretions’, but eventually these (old) allegiances would be used to try to silence the man.
We follow a man, timid, but persuasive; modest, but also a womanizer. Oppenheimer did not lack an ego either. Many people around him were both taken aback, yet fascinated and so he became the most important man in the USA. Even in the world perhaps.
The story is told in post war interviews and flashbacks, working up the test and what came after. Oppenheimer started to realise that his bomb would not end all wars, but would rather be the start of a whole new kind of warfare and he balanced between what would be right or wrong under the circumstances.
All in all “Oppenheimer” is a very good film, telling the tragic story of how mankind played the part of Prometheus giving an idea of how we came to the current situation. Of course, Oppenheimer’s role cannot be underestimated, both for the development of the bomb as the for call for a worldwide agreement to not use them.