The Oppenheimer film has been receiving rave reviews since its release – but it has also been subject to a huge controversy in India.
Outrage is brewing as some viewers feel uncomfortable about a particular scene, leading to a boycott of the film.
The movie revolves around the life of American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy) and his pivotal role in the development of the atomic bomb.
With a compelling storyline and an all-star cast, it was set for success from the start.
However, it seems there’s one scene that’s causing quite a stir, particularly in India.
The real-life Oppenheimer had a fascination with Hinduism, which played a prominent part in his life.
Allegedly, he even translated the Bhagavad Gita, a revered Hindu scripture, from Sanskrit into English.
The film portrays his love for the religion, but it’s during an explicit scene that things take a controversial turn.
In this particular moment, Jean Tatlock (Florence Pugh) is shown making Oppenheimer read the Bhagavad Gita aloud while engaging in s**ual intercourse.
The depiction of this intimate moment has not resonated well with some Hindus in parts of India.
Uday Mahurkar, a journalist and founder of Save Culture Save India (SCSI), wrote an open letter to the film’s director, Christopher Nolan, expressing their concern.
Mr Christopher Nolan
Director , Oppenheimer film
Date : July 22, 2023
Reg: Film Oppenheimer’s disturbing attack on Hinduism
Dear Mr Christopher Nolan,
Namaste from Save Culture Save India Foundation.
It has come to our notice that the movie…
— Uday Mahurkar (@UdayMahurkar) July 22, 2023
According to the open letter, the scene is viewed as a ‘scathing attack on Hinduism’ and ‘amounts to waging a war on the Hindu community’.
Mahurkar urged Nolan to remove the scene to uphold the dignity of the revered scripture and avoid offending ‘one billion Hindus’.
Twitter users echoed these sentiments, calling for a boycott of the film and expressing that it showed ‘no respect’ for the religious beliefs depicted.
Murphy, who also stars in Peaky Blinders, has emphasised the importance and power of the s** scenes.
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He described them as ‘deliberate’ and ‘perfectly’ executed, elevating the emotional impact of the movie, as per The Sydney Morning Herald.
Murphy also praised his co-star Pugh for her phenomenal performance and their chemistry on-screen.
Despite the controversy, Oppenheimer is still seeing box-office success.
Can’t we boycott a movie which is insulting our religion? Why are we so comfortable with it? Why are we happy that our holy book is mentioned in this movie? This is really very disgusting! #BoycottOppenheimer#Oppenheimer pic.twitter.com/x1OhGpAWBs
— Prachi Sharma (@divaprachi) July 22, 2023
It raked in an impressive $80.5 million from theatres across its opening weekend in the US, becoming Nolan’s biggest non-Batman debut and one of the best starts for an R-rated biographical drama.
In a twist of fate, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie also had a strong opening, claiming the top spot in North America with a staggering $155 million in ticket sales.
So, while Oppenheimer continues to attract audiences and generate buzz, it’s also facing a fair share of criticism due to its portrayal of a significant religious aspect.
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