After making his most experimental self-indulgent sci-fi work “Tenet” in 2020, director Christopher Nolan’s next venture “Oppenheimer” is a biographical drama and the new trailer for the film has finally dropped (pun intended) and it has set the internet on fire.
Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book “American Prometheus” by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin and written for the screen by Christopher Nolan, the film deals with the infamous “Manhattan Project” chapter of World War 2 in 1945 and the role of J. Robert Oppenheimer and his group of scientists in the project.
The trailer starts with the trippy visuals of the explosions of the “Trinity Test” which itself is recreated with practical effects and not CGI. The trailer progresses with Oppenheimer played by a talented Cillian Murphy, and goes on to show the struggles of him spearheading the project and the pressure from the US Government that followed. We are shown glimpses of the star-studded cast of the film which includes Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Kenneth Branagh, Robert Downey Jr. Etc.
The trailer promises that “Oppenheimer” isn’t just about the spectacle (which Nolan is often masterful at making) but also a more nuanced emotional drama dealing with the ethics and moral dilemmas of Oppenheimer and his group of scientists about making the bomb. Through the profound dialogues, the trailer goes on to offer perspectives on how Manhattan Project pushed the limits of the field of Nuclear Physics and at the same time how it was a bane for humanity. The trailer has a lot of easter eggs for all history buffs like me, including a glimpse of Oppenheimer’s meeting with Einstein.
Shot with black and white in IMAX cameras for the first time, Nolan’s longtime collaborator cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema hops back and forth with B/W and color visuals and the experience is gonna be novel indeed. With a mellow yet grand musical score by Ludwig Gorannson, the trailer has ticking sounds throughout its 3 minute runtime which goes on to show the fascination Nolan has for tick-tocks throughout his filmography and now it has become a signature trademark.
In one of his interviews, Nolan has once expressed his regret that he couldn’t realize his biographical script on the aviator Howard Hughes, as Martin Scorsese made one before him. “Oppenheimer” is touted to be Nolan’s “Aviator” and the film is one of the rare mainstream hollywood films in recent times which doesn’t rely on any existing IP. “Oppenheimer” drops on a screen near you, on 21 July, 2023.
Catch the trailer here –