Cristopher Nolan, the exalted British filmmaker, has always been obsessed with stories that explore the in-and-outs of time and space and the story of a man who was torn between the world that exists beyond our reality was always a perfect fit.
‘Oppenheimer’, a three-hour long life story of one of the most important figures of the 20th century is an achievement in filmmaking and what can be only described as monumental.
The story of J. Robert Oppenheimer (played by Cillian Murphy), a theoretical physicist, whose determination brought to life the modern-day horror of an atomic bomb spans across three different timelines of his life.
In unity with cinematography, sound design, and soundtrack Nolan creates a horrifically immersive experience which controls every atom in the viewer’s body.
It is not a white male tired genius glorification but a study of man’s psyche in motion. And with Nolan’s approach it could be questioned whether Oppenheimer was an all-round genius or just a good theorist and a curator for the Manhattan Project.
Cinematography of the film might be considered the strongest part, and rightfully so. The absence of CGI in favour of practical effects shines best in parts of visualizing the quantum realm and “The Trinity test”.
“I think computer graphics, they’re very versatile, they can do all kinds of things, but they tend to feel a bit safe. That’s why they’re difficult to use in horror movies. Animation tends to feel a little safe for the audience. The Trinity Test, ultimately, but also these early imaginings of Oppenheimer visualizing the Quantum Realm, they had to be threatening in some way. They had to have the bite of real-world imagery”, said Nolan, who was quoted in the Collider.
Such an approach creates something that is simultaneously breathtakingly beautiful and terrifying. What is brought to viewers’ eyes deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible and I believe completely justifies the push for the true 70mm IMAX film.