Oppenheimer: A maverick’s masterful storytelling and cinematic visionary
Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer is deeply entrenched in the events that followed the most cataclysmic and darkest chapter of world history - the atomic explosion of nuclear bomb at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the turbulent life of the chief architect and charismatic quantum physicist Dr Robert J Oppenheimer (played by Cilian Murphy).
A maverick in masterful storytelling and cinematic visionary, Nolan creates a world that feels so accessible, intimate and engrossing even though the topic, set during the pre-holocaust era, is vastly abstract and baffling - nuclear science and its tenets - atoms, molecules, fission and fusion.
Adapted from the book, the narrative takes you through Oppie's formative years of being a QP scientist, his 'intellectual' inclination towards Communist party, the mild womanizing and extra marital tendencies and anchoring the secret Manhattan project called by Leslie Groves (Matt Daemon) and his friction with Lewis Strauss (Robert Downing Jr.), an anti-communist.
The second half is a hallmark of Nolan's robust filmmaking prowess that traverses the test bombing part followed by a daunting legal courtroom tussle and Oppenheimer's mental upheaval due to the explosions devastating consequences on mankind. The screenplay is powered by an ominous musical score - a Nolan trademark, that builds tension with finesse.
Murphy gives his career best performance - sinking into the troubled soul of the scientist and playing it with restraint and brood. Navigating the different phases of his life, the actor is remarkably authentic in embodying the physical transformation. He is surrounded by a stellar star cast - Emily Blunt playing his wife Kitty, Matt Daemon, Robert Downing Jr, Rami Malek, Josh Hartnett, Casey Affleck and many others.
Films like Oppenheimer shouldn't be missed. Nolan's sensibilities are impeccable, his understanding of the subject is flawlessly demonstrated through the erected set pieces and meticulous prod-designs, speaking volumes about his celluloid genius.
More importantly, it is a reckoner to the one of the most unimaginable and wildest events around power supremacy in global history.
Immersive, Engaging and Unsettling.