Oppenheimer's Cillian Murphy Defends Intimate Scenes Amid Fans' Outrage
Many viewers felt that intimate scenes seemed unnecessary in the movie about making the atomic bomb.
Oppenheimer writer-director Christopher Nolan, despite his extensive filmmaking experience, learned something new while working on the movie about the creator of the atomic bomb.
For one thing, this is his first biopic. Second, it is also the first Christopher Nolan film to include sex scenes. Robert Oppenheimer, played by Cillian Murphy, had an affair with Jean Tatlock prior to his marriage to Katherine "Kitty" Oppenheimer. His affair with Tatlock continued despite his marriage.
And although there is nothing surprising in the sex scenes nowadays, it was the intimate episode that caused dissatisfaction among the audience.
It seemed to many viewers that there was simply no place in a biopic about the creator of the atomic bomb for intimate scenes that seemed ridiculous in the context of the movie. However, main star Cillian Murphy defended director Christopher Nolan's vision:
"Those scenes were written deliberately. He knew that those scenes would get the movie the rating that it got. And I think when you see it, it's so f***king powerful. And they're not gratuitous. They're perfect."
Jean Tatlock's ties to the Communist Party had a huge impact on Oppenheimer's life after he was accused of being a Soviet spy and investigated by the Atomic Energy Commission. Christopher Nolan said he wanted to include sex scenes between the characters to show that their romance transcends politics.
Unexpectedly, the scene also proved offensive on religious grounds.
Immediately after the intimate scene, Jean took a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, a religious monument of Indian culture, off the shelf. She then asked Oppenheimer to read lines from the book. Robert agreed and read: "I am become Death, destroyer of worlds."
Later, the scientist would say that it was this phrase that popped into his head after the first tests of the atomic bomb.
Viewers of the movie in India criticized the filmmakers for this scene, which they felt was disrespectful to quote the holy text in such a way. Later, the Information Commissioner of the Government of India, Uday Mahurkar, wrote a statement to Christopher Nolan criticizing him for his decision to include such a scene. Uday also demanded that it be completely removed from the final version of the movie.
Nolan has not yet responded to the criticism, but Murphy's words suggest that the director knew from the beginning that the scene would be controversial and deliberately included it in the movie.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald