Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Movie Review: Oppenheimer

This biopic film, brought to life by the enigmatic and creative Christopher Nolan, speaks to the darkness of nuclear weaponry and J Robert Oppenheimer, ‘the father of the atomic bomb’.

The film illuminates Oppenheimer’s tumultuous life, prior to him creating the two atomic bombs that catastrophically devasted the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War, and afterwards, faced with the consequences of his own creation.

Manoeuvring through his youth, audiences see Oppenheimer’s growth from being a student in Europe, to him as a professor in California, till his recruitment onto the Manhattan Project, the top-secret US project to build nuclear weaponry in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Compelled through two different storylines, before the explosion that destroyed Hiroshima, and the 1950s court battle, where Oppenheimer’s political motivations were questioned, the audience is constantly bombarded with information, fantastic cinematography, and intimate playacting.

Oppenheimer was praised as the hero of the Second World War by the Americans, for protecting their American democracy, which, in turn quelled his political motivations, once seeing the absolute destruction of the bombs.

This political pacifism is the fuel to the fire of these court hearings.

The court hearings are the titular settings of the film, where, in the 1950s, Oppenheimer is arguably the most famous American scientist, but he is being questioned as a security risk, harbouring communist ideals, which will lead to the downfall of the American way of life.

He is namely opposing Lewis Strauss, the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commissioner, who has secretly been working to bring Oppenheimer down.

Always discussing the consequences of actions, this film leaves no stone unturned, no detail missed.

Oppenheimer is ultimately stripped of his security clearances as a member of the Atomic Energy Commission’s General Advisory Council, effectively bringing his career to an end.

One of the film’s concluding scenes portray Oppenheimer speaking with Albert Einstein, discussing whether or not he created a chain reaction that would ultimately destroy the entire universe.

Oppenheimer is showing in the Bowen Cinema from Friday August 11, and at Proserpine Entertainment Centre from August 18.

Juggling political motivations and scientific ambition, Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer discusses the power of consequences and actions

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