The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

Oppenheimer: An accurate masterpiece


There have been many summer movies that have attempted to replay moments in history, but this three-hour movie takes the cake as a thriller that dives deep into letting the audience feel they are in the movie. 

Based on true events that happened during World War 2, it focuses on Robert J. Oppenheimer, the man who was integral to the creation of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945–and if you enjoy history like me, this movie is very alluring considering its historical accuracy.   

The film was especially attractive to me because of the time period it takes place in and how they show certain real life events that happened. It also shows the emotional impact characters have on one another. For example, Harry Truman, who was the president at the time, was painted as rather unsympathetic. In the movie multiple times he can be seen acting demeaning to other characters throughout the film. 

In one scene, Oppenheimer goes to meet Truman with his regrets on making a weapon of mass destruction. You can hear President Truman say, “Don’t let that crybaby back in here.” I had a very strong feeling towards that line while watching actor Cillian Murphy walk out of the office. It is so upsetting watching someone invalidate someone’s emotions about killing people. 

Oppenheimer is characterized as being able to see things differently and more closely than others. The cinematographers did this through filters and special effects they added. When he is viewing rain, it’s a close up shot and the droplets become louder and louder. The technique makes the audience feel vulnerable because of the intensity. At other times, he would be talking with people and then suddenly be alone in the shot, showing his awareness that his actions were causing that much suffering. When he is giving a speech to the team that has helped create the atomic bomb, the scene shows the toll it’s taking on him. As he talks, people would cheer, but it ends up silent and him alone or muffled. This scene becomes especially impactful as the music swells and the sound builds up dramatically, and you see everyone laying down getting ready to observe and feel the bomb blast. 

Composer Ludwig Gӧransson did a really good job of captivating the audience in this movie. The music added so much to the movie, especially in high-adrenaline scenes, where you feel your stomach sinking in and are on the edge of your seat. 

The song “Can You Hear the Music” fits into this category. It plays when Oppenheimer starts seeing things in more heightened ways than others around him, or when the pieces of the puzzle begin to form together. It makes it feel like you’re the one solving the puzzle. 

“Destroyer Of Worlds” is another song that introduces historical elements and heightens the senses. The song is very recognizable from found footage of an actual speech from Oppenheimer in which he says, “Few people laughed, few people cried, most people were silent…Now I am become death destroyer of worlds.” He was talking about a line from Hindu scripture. This song is similar to “Can You Hear the Music” in its style of melody. 

It’s not just the music that is intense, it’s also the sounds within the scenes themselves. While watching Oppenheimer I could hear the explosions through the floor down the hall when taking a bathroom break. It felt as if the sound editors of the movie had turned the volume up ten-fold, and it made the experience that much more immersed. 

This movie is an explosive beauty of the past, both a thriller and mystery. It includes so much history, small facts and puzzles that I nerded out at it in the theater. It is truly a perfect movie to juxtapose against the other hit of the summer, Barbie, which is so colorful and contrasts Oppeheimer’s dark undertones. 

I think they really helped each other in advertising by releasing on the same day as well, with the pink outfits people showed up in versus the dark classic ‘40s-’50s era suits people also showed up in. They are an essential pair, just the absolute embodiment of light and dark, like a Princess Bubblegum and Marceline partnership. 

Though I didn’t review the R-rated scenes in my story, please note that this movie does contain mature elements not fit for some audiences. 

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Sebastian Gracie Fultz, Managing Editor
Sebastian Gracie Fultz is a junior, and he/she/they are passionate about debating, mental health awareness and anything social justice or criminal justice. People describe them as charismatic, passionate and stubborn. They love being a journalist because it gives them the opportunity to speak with all types of people, but also reminds them to be prepared for the unexpected ahead of time.

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