Christopher Nolan’s upcoming film, ‘Oppenheimer’, explores the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb. Nolan was inspired by the lyrics of Sting’s song, “Russians,” which mentioned Oppenheimer’s deadly creation. Growing up during the Cold War era, Nolan and his generation were deeply concerned about nuclear weapons and the potential for a nuclear holocaust. Nolan’s decision to make a biopic about Oppenheimer was initially met with skepticism, as people believed that nuclear weapons were no longer a pressing issue. However, recent events such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine have made the subject matter of the film timely and relevant.
The film delves into the consequences of Oppenheimer’s actions, as he became one of the most famous men in the world after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While he attempted to advocate against nuclear proliferation, Oppenheimer never publicly expressed regret or apologized for his role in these devastating events. Nolan explores the idea of delayed consequences in his film, highlighting that the true impact of one’s actions may not be immediately apparent. To capture Oppenheimer’s anxiety, Nolan suggested using the violin as a central theme in the film’s score, as it can convey both beauty and horror. The film portrays Oppenheimer as a chess player rather than a boxer, emphasizing his intellectual prowess and strategic thinking.
Despite its ambitious scope, ‘Oppenheimer’ focuses on a tense and quiet central character who is haunted by the forces he has unleashed. Nolan aims to avoid didacticism and does not want to impose a specific message on the audience. However, he acknowledges that the film highlights the nihilistic reality of Oppenheimer’s irreversible impact on the world. There is no catharsis in this story, as the consequences of Oppenheimer’s actions cannot be undone.
In conclusion, Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ explores the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, and delves into the consequences of his actions. The film is timely and relevant, reflecting the director’s concerns about nuclear weapons and their potential for destruction. Nolan aims to capture Oppenheimer’s anxiety through the film’s score, using the violin as a central theme. The film portrays Oppenheimer as a chess player rather than a boxer, emphasizing his intellectual approach to tackling challenges. While Nolan avoids didacticism, the film highlights the irreversible and nihilistic impact of Oppenheimer’s actions on the world.