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Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster biopic of the ‘Father of the Bomb’ J. Robert Oppenheimer is an epic in its own right. The much-awaited 3+ hours long feature-length classic was released in theaters on July 21st 2023. Competing with another giant ‘Barbie’, the Universal Pictures film made a strong case and garnered an audience en masse. Long-term Nolan fans are quite the vocal bunch about the success of the movie while the left has branded it as a misogynistic and sexist crime of an art.

Months of speculations on how Nolan would recreate the most horrifying tragedy of human history in the setting of World War 2 were put to rest as Oppenheimer turned out to be a political melodrama with the absence of significant pre-perceived scenes. Well, the film was adapted from American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer and from that point of view the outcome is expected. However, moviegoers were thirsting for a war epic like Dunkirk. In the end, that was not to be the case.

Starring Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Daemon, Emily Blunt, and Florence Pugh the high-profile political drama is a massive success around the globe with a gross earning of $650 million so far according to the box office. The historical flick has impressed critics alike as it has an 8.6 IMDb rating and a 93% Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes. For me personally, after watching Surongo (read my review) it was a cause of pure joy to watch Oppenheimer.

Oppenheimer New Trailer

A Tale Of Human Faces

When we were made aware that a film on the human ‘Prometheus’ J. Robert Oppenheimer was in the works and it was to be directed by none other than Christopher Nolan, we immediately started to visualize scenes of nuclear fission, fusion, and the process of the making of the very first atomic bomb. We also imagined the horrifying scenes of people disintegrating from the atomic blasts when ‘Little Boy’ and ‘Fat Man’ were dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Well, that is what most would have expected but, the movie depicted something entirely different.

As Matt Zoller Seitz wrote in Roger Ebert, “For all the pre-release speculation about how analog epic-maker Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ would re-create the explosion of the first atomic bomb, the film’s most spectacular attraction turns out to be something else: the human face.”, we come face to face with human faces who tell their stories through talking, listening, reacting, expressing, and spacing out. The sheer brilliance of close-up shots that sometimes are overlapped by flash-cuts of events that have occurred or are yet to occur made me thrilled.

The title character J. Robert Oppenheimer is a genius mind and a capable physicist with ample knowledge of quantum mechanics. The biopic depicts his journey, starting from a young scholar scouring for knowledge across Europe to becoming the supervisor of nuclear weapons in the USA whose apocalyptic contribution to science brought about the fiercest tragedy of human history and in turn earned him the nickname ‘The American Prometheus’.

Oppenheimer - Movie - Deshi Geek
Oppenheimer – Movie – Deshi Geek

Pinnacle Of Perfection

Let us start with the execution of Christopher Nolan. His ability to engage the audience is second to none. And this proven fact is further strengthened in Oppenheimer. Nolan made a slow-paced biopic with only dialogues, expressions, and body language into a most enjoyable watch. Bruh I simply don’t know how he manages to do it but he does and does so well that we as the audience can get immersed in political drama without beautiful sceneries, action elements, and emotional thrills.

As for the actors, I must say Cillian Murphy put on a stellar performance and depicted the mentally unstable, schizophrenia-diagnosed, and scattered vision-inducing genius physicist to perfection. Matt Daemon made an impactful entry as General Leslie Groves and remained impactful throughout the course of the screen time. Robert Downey Jr. portrayed the seeming antagonist Lewis Strauss with such weight that you can definitely perceive him as a scene stealer. Emily Blunt was right on top of everything with her role of Kitty the suffering wife of Oppenheimer.

The movie frequently refers to a principle of quantum physics, according to which an experiment’s conclusions can be affected by detecting quantum processes with a detector or other device. The writing accomplishes it by including fresh material that undermines, contradicts, or widens our impression of why a character did something, or whether they even knew why they did it. The editing exemplifies it by repeatedly re-framing an event to change its meaning.

Rather than the atom bomb itself or even its effects on the war and the Japanese civilian population, which are discussed but never seen, I think that’s what “Oppenheimer” is actually about. The movie depicts what the atom bomb does to human flesh, but it’s not an exact reproduction of the bombings on Japan; instead, the horrified Oppenheimer imagines what it must have been like for Americans.

The editing style of Jennifer Lame, which frequently has a subtle Terrence Malick quality, is prismatic and persistent, cutting between three or more time periods in a matter of seconds. It’s accompanied by Ludwig Göransson’s nearly nonstop score, which combines with the film’s relentless dialogue and monologues to create a peculiar but distinctive sort of scientifically expository aria. Reading American Prometheus while listening to a playlist of Philip Glass film scores probably gives you the same sensation.

Oppenheimer Official Trailer

Oppenheimer The Mutant

It accomplishes what we never expected it to: Dramatize Oppenheimer’s life and the lives of other historically significant figures in his sphere in a visually daring way, while also allowing all of the people and all of the events to be used metaphorically and symbolically so that they become pointillistic elements in a much larger canvas that’s about the mysteries of the human personality and the unanticipated effects of individual and societal decisions.

Another intriguing aspect of Oppenheimer despite the fact that Murphy’s domination, he isn’t the only subject. It also explores how Oppenheimer’s actions and personality affected others, including the independent-minded members of his atomic bomb development team, the hounded Kitty, mistress Jean Tatlock, General Groves, who admires Oppenheimer, and even Harry Truman, who ordered the use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and scorns Oppenheimer.

The pinball-machine motions of human consciousness are better captured in non-linear movies like this one than they are in linear ones. They also capture what it’s like to read a third-person omniscient book. The paradoxical mental process of reading a text and responding to it viscerally, emotionally, and intellectually is also captured. However, it also ventures beyond it, making connections between the text and other texts, as well as with personal experience and imagination.

Oppenheimer - Scene - Deshi Geek
Oppenheimer – Scene – Deshi Geek

A Supposed Letdown?!

Oppenheimer can come off as a little disappointing when compared to the life of its subject. It is unable to grasp the fuzzier, but more profound, worldview that underpinned Oppie’s actions, creative output, and personal moral turmoil.

The best that can be said of Oppenheimer—to paraphrase the physicist’s real reported sentiments, spoken at his moment of accession to the rank of godlike world-destroyer—is that it works when measured against Nolan’s own, more strictly practical, objectives. Even if only technically, successful.

My recommendation would be to go and watch the film in theaters. Decide for yourselves if it is an entertaining watch or a letdown. And peeps, stay with Deshi Geek for more pop-culture news, reviews, and features.



Reading and writing are my muse. Expressing myself through my writing is the purpose of me being here. The hope is to satisfy the readers with my penned pieces!!!

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