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Written by maybesarthak on 2023-10-16


> **Oppenheimer:** I feel like I have blood on my hands, sir. > > **Truman:** [takes a handkerchief from his pocket and gives it to him] You think anyone in Hiroshima or Nagasaki gives a shit about who built the bomb? an incredibly well-written and extremely well-acted piece of dramatic cinema about the very eventful and complicated life of J. Robert Oppenheimer and it is beautiful. I'm actually surprised this is a huge summer blockbuster. anytime Christopher Nolan releases a film, it's obviously an event all around the world because he's made tons of great films and he's one of the very few film-makers working today who really cares about cinema and values that cinematic experience. he's also one of the very few people who's actually given a budget to support his love for cinema. he shoots on film, does everything practically, he wants as little CGI as possible and he has apparently claimed that there isn't a single CGI shot in this film. if that's actually the case, like if he hasn't even included cleanup shots in the film, then my spirit just left my body. it's astounding. went into this film with very limited knowledge about the life of Oppenheimer. like most people, I only knew him as The Father of the Atomic Bomb and the famous lines he quoted from the Bhagavad Gita which are Now I Am Become Death, The Destroyer of Worlds where he's talking about the atomic bomb realising the gravity of his creation and having to live with the sin of his achievement. I had no other knowledge about him as a person, his life outside of the invention, and the events that followed before or after it. so, if you're going into this film expecting an explosion porn, you're most likely to get disappointed having to sit through 3 hours' worth of heavy dramatic dialogue involving moments of genuinely terrifying character development. the film is about the person whose most pivotal moment in life was the success of The Manhattan Project. getting to experience being inside that person's mind as he's trying to visualize all these things combined with an incredible score by Ludwig Göransson and watching all of these rated-R, 3-hour, dialogue-heavy, beautifully shot on film by the master himself Hoyte van Hoytema with black and white sequences in a fucking theatre made me feel like I wasn't in 2023. the performances are excellent. there really is no other word for it. from the top all the way down to the bottom of the incredibly huge cast list, there isn't a single weak link. Robert Downey Jr. is simply terrific. I haven't seen him like this since Kiss Kiss Bang Bang which came all the way back in 2005. I love him as Iron Man but that's more about the character rather than him as an actor. I wouldn't be shocked if he's nominated for a best supporting actor performance. Emily Blunt is also just really really great. there is a sequence early on in the film where Oppenheimer is being questioned and she's just sitting back there in the scene, out of focus. we're not even shown a close-up of her during this entire sequence until it becomes relevant later on in the film and we go back to that sequence when we finally realise the significance of her being there. Nolan has done quite a lot of that in this film actually. major A-list actors are in the film for like 2 scenes and then they never appear again. that's not just a testament to the actors who'd give anything to be in a Nolan-directed film but a testament to Nolan himself, as a film-maker. if we go back to the same sequence I mentioned earlier with Blunt, that's not just anyone sitting there, it's Emily Blunt. a phenomenal actress. but that's what gives the film a sense of groundedness. that the people on-screen are actual people, they behave like people. and for a certain amount of time, allows those celebrities to feel like normal people. Florence Pugh, Matt Damon, Rami Malek, Jason Clarke, Dane DeHaan, I can go on and on but literally everyone is fucking phenomenal. the real star of the show though, is Cillian Murphy. in his first lead role for a Nolan film after having worked with him for almost 20 years, Murphy shines brighter than the atomic bomb itself and walks with suave leaving not just two, but a multitude of shockwaves. his work is beyond phenomenal here. he not only looks like Oppenheimer but every scene he's in, he's just instantly captivating. it's not just his incredible eyes (which go so deep that I just wanna sink myself in them) but, he's just always in character. never did I once see the guy from Red Eye or from Peaky Blinders. it was always Oppie. I'm actually putting this review as I listen to the absolutely bonkers score that has been provided for the film. Göransson's work is truly, awesome-tacularly, riveting. my heart was beating so fast in some sequences that have this heavy, beating sounds that I could almost have a seizure. the work here is truly remarkable. another aspect of this film that shines brighter than ever is its editing. this is a 3-hour film that feels like 2 and a half. a half-an-hour of time just evaporated for me. every scene ends perfectly. there is no room for baggage. several big moments of history fly away in an instant. this gives the film a really focused feel. it gives the audience a cue that this is not the story of the world but it is the story of Oppenheimer. Nolan really knows how to edit his films such that they have just the right runtime and I really appreciate when a film-maker does that. it very much also gives this film that documentary-esque aspect and gets you convinced that these events actually did happen and this is not just some made-up story about a man's life. this film is truly a marvelous achievement not just for Christopher Nolan himself as a filmmaker but for cinema as a whole. peak dramatic cinema. watch this on the biggest screen possible and the loudest speakers you can find.