REVIEW | Oppenheimer


While you’d have to be living under a rock to have missed the peak pop culture phenomenon that is the relationship between Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Oppenheimer, and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, the pair have inspired memes-galore, with a new type of unanimously shared film-viewing experience dubbed the ‘Barbinheimer’ effect.

Oppenheimer stars what could be, at this point, deduced to be Nolan’s favourite actor, Cillian Murphy. The film is a three-hour visual experience that is impossible to pull your eyes away from. Murphy, of course, delivers a sensitive, thoughtful and magnetic performance as Robert Oppenheimer, piquing viewer’s interest in a man known well by name but perhaps less understood than he should be, which Nolan has undertaken with this film to rectify.

The film follows the journey of Oppenheimer’s creation of the atomic bomb, exploring every moral avenue and the passions and enigmatic nature of a complex man who had an even more complex relationship with his life’s purpose, romantic relationships, and himself.

Also starring Emily Blunt, cast as his fiery, staunch, and sharp wife, Katherine Oppenheimer Vissering. Her loyalty to her husband is unquestioning. However, her method of showing her love presents a delightful paradox of a woman who does not fall into the category of being a wife you would expect of the period. Robert is lost in a world of his own, with a curious and open mind that is obsessive with his work and wanders in every other intellectual avenue. Katherine is a powerful, stubborn, independent force of strength, making both well-matched for each other but seemingly not so well-matched as parents.

Robert Downey Jr plays Lewis Strauss, a role tailored perfectly to him, with Strauss and his relationship with Oppenheimer cast in many different lights, providing an emotional to and froing viewing experience.

The journey of Robert’s life, early romances, and the inevitability of fulfilment as the maker of the atomic bomb, the film crosses over several decades, keeping viewers engaged throughout.