There are many reasons to help Oppenheimer ranked 3rd in the list of 10 most anticipated blockbusters this summer voted by IMDb.
Partly because this is the work that marks the return of Christopher Nolan – the famous director who molded a series of global blockbusters such as: The Dark Knight (2008), Inception (2010), Interstellar (2014)…
The project belongs to the biographical film genre, narrating the life of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer – the inventor of the atomic bomb. Moreover, the budget of 100 million USD and the A-list cast are factors that make the work more attractive.
Portrait of a genius or “terminator”
Screenplay written by Christopher Nolan, adapted from the biography American Prometheus (2005) by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. The content mainly revolves around the process of Oppenheimer and scientists of the Manhattan Project creating an atomic bomb during World War II.
The story begins in 1926 when Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) was still a student at Cambridge. Then, the film takes viewers through historical timelines, such as when the US declared war on Nazi Germany, kicked off the Manhattan Project and dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, causing world history changed completely.
In addition, the work also reveals many details related to the main character’s private life, from Oppenheimer’s Jewish background, his relationship with his wife Katherine (Emily Blunt) or the ups and downs of love between him and Jean. Tatlock (Florence Pugh) – a member of the American Communist Party.
In the past, Hollywood has made countless biopics. Topics of Oppenheimer somewhat reminiscent The Imitation Game (2014) when both portray famous scientists who made great contributions in wartime.
However, director Christopher Nolan stayed true to his familiar style with his formula of challenging the audience. Instead of choosing a linear narrative, he weaves together multiple timelines that make the story more complex. Many black and white frames are integrated with the color scene, continuously taking the viewer to “jump” from the past to the present and vice versa.
Through the film, the director wanted the audience to have a more realistic view of Oppenheimer, which is a controversial figure in history. When the first two atomic bombs exploded, he was honored as an outstanding scientist in the United States. But to the Japanese, Oppenheimer is no different from “the destroyer”, who is guilty of causing hundreds of thousands of deaths.
The cast is “tailored to make shoes”
Christopher Nolan continues to prove his acting skills when allocating A-list stars appropriately in each role. Almost everyone is surprised by the completely new image they bring.
The most prominent feature is Cillian Murphy with the main role of Oppenheimer. In a movie with many dialogue scenes, actors Peaky Blinders conquer the character even without saying anything. He knows how to make use of his eyes and face to portray the image of a person who has a lot of inner turmoil, smokes a lot of cigarettes and is often immersed in personal thoughts.
According to the director, Cillian Murphy was the only choice for the character. He wrote the script with the image of the actor in the imagination. The two are also close collaborators through many projects, so this time they work well together.
The other actors also really shined in their roles, although the screen time was not much. Robert Downey Jr. completely remove the image of Iron Man to conquer a serious character, difficult to express.
Actress born in 1996 Florence Pugh – famous through Black Widow (2021) – demonstrated his ability to play heavy, deep roles. Emily Blunt also plays the wife who sacrifices many things for Oppenheimer.
To highlight the acting, Christopher Nolan used many close-ups and captured the actors’ faces. The director also knows how to blend visuals with music – directed by Ludwig Göransson – to navigate the emotional circuit when majestic and resounding, sometimes quiet, sad.
A movie that is not easy to watch
As soon as it was released, Oppenheimer immediately received a “rain” of compliments from critics and the audience. The work is certified “Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes with 93% positive reviews from experts.
The score on IMDb is 8.6/10 with many compliments for Christopher Nolan’s directing, star performance and great combination of visuals and music.
However, the work still has certain limitations. Biographical genre and historical and war themes make the film quite “hard to swallow”.
Dialogue is an element that can be confusing to the audience, especially those who do not have much knowledge about the Manhattan Project. Most scenes are directed by the director using a fast tempo, combined with a series of lines that force viewers to focus to follow the story.
Not to mention, he also planted a lot of expertise in science, the atom and the quantum world, making some segments difficult to understand.
The non-linear narrative and 180-minute duration are also a challenge for those who lack patience.
Although not easy to see, Oppenheimer is still a passionate project, proving the talent and stature of director Christopher Nolan. His success is in telling the historical story from a different perspective, unlike many other biopics.
That is also the reason why many experts consider this a heavyweight opponent in the awards season at the end of this year.