Cillian Murphy reveals he read Bhagavad Gita to prepare for 'Oppenheimer'

Christopher Nolan directed 'Oppenheimer' is set to release on July 21 across theatres in India

A still of Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer from the preview of 'Oppenheimer' (photo: IANS)
A still of Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer from the preview of 'Oppenheimer' (photo: IANS)

NH Entertainment Bureau

Actor Cillian Murphy, who is gearing up for the release of his upcoming biopic, Oppenheimer, has shared that in order to prepare for the titular character and to get into its mind space, he read the Hindu religious text Bhagavad Gita.

American nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who was the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory during World War 2, and is often credited as the "father of the atomic bomb" for his role in the Manhattan Project, learned Sanskrit at Berkley.

"I have become death, the destroyer of worlds" is the most repeated quote of Oppenheimer. He borrowed it from an excerpt said by Lord Vishnu in the book.

Talking about the same, Cillian Murphy said: "I did read the Bhagavad Gita in preparation for the film. I thought it was an absolutely beautiful text. Very inspiring. It was a consolation to him. He kind of needed it. It provided a lot of consolation to him all his life."

The film also dropped a five-minute opening look into Christopher Nolan's biopic, and it all plays out more like a horror movie than anything else.

The sneak peek, resembling a horror film, starts off in black and white, showing a meeting called by US Atomic Energy Commission founder Lewis Strauss (played by Robert Downey Jr.) in which he and Oppenheimer talk about the Soviet Union testing an atomic bomb and its potential ramifications. Oppenheimer calls the building of the bomb, a race against Nazis.

The preview then enters a flashback in colour, going back to the time when Leslie Groves Jr. (Matt Damon) who was the director of the Manhattan Project created the town of Los Alamos, for creation of the bomb.

Throughout the clip, the entire team begins to crack under pressure including Oppenheimer himself, as they deal with the ticking clock as well as pondering over what this one project could to the future of humanity.

However, while still surrounded in doubt, Oppenheimer rallies everyone to complete the project, saying that there is no choice as this one bomb would be even more dangerous in the hands of the Nazis.

The video then cuts to the building of the bomb, and then the Trinity Test where they explode the very first atomic bomb showcasing the very aspects of nuclear fission, as well as the intricacies of the whole detonation without any CGI.

While a biopic, the realism of this small clip and the emotional weight behind it is enough to terrify most people, because the crux of the whole movie ultimately is what such a powerful weapon could do as insecurity and pressure take hold, but ultimately, all those involved in this historically monumental event are all compelled due to a lack of options.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book 'American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer' written by Kai Bird and the late Martin J Sherwin. The film is set to release in India by PVR INOX on July 21, 2023.

With inputs from IANS

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Published: 14 Jul 2023, 9:08 PM