Waipahu High School's Student Newspaper

The Cane Tassel

Waipahu High School's Student Newspaper

The Cane Tassel

Waipahu High School's Student Newspaper

The Cane Tassel

Oppenheimer should be considered art

Oppenheimer, in my opinion, is a masterpiece of a film, showing the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, an American theoretical physicist and director of the Manhattan Project’s Los Alamos Laboratory during World War II.

Director Christopher Nolan’s take on Oppenheimer is that he based his film on a book called, “American Prometheus,” a prize-winning book by Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin. He created the movie to highlight the ethical choices that happened in real time events during World War II.

The movie was a film about the true story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, who created and worked on making the atomic bomb, which was called the Manhattan project.

The Manhattan Project was a project from the US during World War II, led by Major General Leslie Groves of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and J. Robert Oppenheimer,  nuclear physicist and the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory where they designed the bombs. They formed together to create the Manhattan Project to create the first atomic bomb.

The film starts off with a scene of J. Robert Oppenheimer (played by Cillian Murphy) looking down at a water puddle. Then, it cuts to explosions. I believe those explosions foreshadow the creation of the atomic bomb.

After, the scene shifts right back to Oppenheimer in an intimate room being interrogated by a committee. The committee secretly intends to screw over Oppenheimer over security clearance. The committee asks him tough questions, but Oppenheimer answers back with circular reasoning.

During this scene, we get to see a lawyer asking Lewis Strauss (played by Robert Downey Jr.) about justifying his and Oppenheimer’s actions. The scene then cuts to Oppenheimer talking with the committee.

The film depicts Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) as a theoretical quantum physicist who is shown to think less on confidence but more on mathematics concerning how events will play out. Oppenheimer shows ambiguity as he embodies it.

It is shown in the movie that Oppenheimer has crucial thoughts about making the atomic bomb, but then as he is in the works of making the bomb, he has moral concerns about using it on people.

As Oppenheimer works with Major General Leslie Groves (played be Matt Damon), the military general of the Manhattan Project, the movie shows Oppenheimer is best at being an organizer and a great thinker. In later scenes, Oppenheimer also appears to have a messy personal life of affairs.

Oppenheimer’s time as a physics professor showcased how he sympathizes for the Communist Party at the University of California, Berkeley, where he works. This time was when the US was allied with Communist Russia (Soviet Union). While it was not wrong to sympathize during that time, as Oppenheimer started to work on the Manhattan Project and as Nazi Germany fell, he ceased from continuing talking to his Communist Party friends because of US suspicions toward the Soviet Union.

The problem of the film, Oppenheimer, is that Oppenherimer (Cillian Murphy) proves his loyalty to the US against the government and committees who accused him of Communist relations, as well as how Lewis Strauss (Robert Downey Jr.) planned to ruin him.

Lewis Strauss planned to ruin Oppenheimer because he believed that Oppenheimer was a problem. The film depicts the conflict between the two, including their differences and worldviews on nuclear weapons. Strauss also believed that Oppenheimer was the cause of breaking his relationship with Albert Einstein (played by Tom Conti).

Strauss’s hatred towards Oppenheimer years later, as the head of the Atomic Energy Commision, ensured that Oppenheimer did not get his security clearance. The security clearance was an important aspect of the story considering it is what ruined Oppenheimer’s career with the Manhattan Project.

Kenneth Nichols (played by Dane DeHaan), Strauss assistant, assisted Strauss in his act to betray Oppenheimer. Nichols did Oppenheimer dirty because he got Oppenheimer kicked out of the Atomic Energy Division, disabling him from putting any influence on the Manhattan Project.

Another person who betrayed Oppenheimer was Edward Teller (played by Benny Safdie) who, in the movie, had a cool relationship with Oppenheimer, but he clashed with Oppenheimer about using a hydrogen bomb rather than an atomic bomb.

Teller defended Oppenheimer from being accused as a “commie supporter”, but also did not have the same views as him. Then, when Oppenheimer had his hearing in the Intimate room, Teller was the only one who said Oppenheimer should not be granted his security clearance. All these betrayals from Strauss, Nichols, and Teller ruined Oppenheimer’s life.

Even at Oppenheimer’s last meeting with the committee, he was found to be a loyal citizen to the US. However, because of his suspicious actions, he was denied his security clearance.

Overall, I had a great time watching the movie. It was a legit masterpiece of a film because it had quick scenes, as well as shifts in time and dates. The color tone of the movie also shifted from black and white to a more modernized color tone where it showed more color. There were moments where things were filled with triumph, honor, and guiltiness. The movie gave me so much emotion when I watched it. Oppenheimer was a theatrical masterpiece, and I recommend you watch it at the movies with your parents.

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About the Contributor
The name’s James, James Christopher Blue to be exact. I’m a freshman attending Waipahu High School in the Academy of Natural Resources. I’m a chill person who makes the most fun whenever I can either in activities or just some silly goofing. My appearance shows a quiet look, yet I'm a wild son of a gun who likes his fun. I like listening to music in my free time, as well as doodling or playing some games. I’m a Filipino, born in the 50th state of the U.S. Some things I like are music, drawing. Also, I like being creative at times, and I use that creativity to do what I like. I love listening to music, it’s chill and mellows me out all the time, whatever genre it is, it’s just cool to me. Playing games is not much for me since I now focus on my school. Not much gaming happening right now, but I still do play in my free time. Some of my favorite foods are fries, pizza, burgs, and subs. I like my food balanced, so I’ll eat veggies as well—mostly lettuce, cabbage, and tomatoes. Those veggies are my favorite types of things to eat. My interests are cool. I want to move to California because of its cool cities and their beaches, plus it’s really amazing there.

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