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Einstein and the Bomb Review: Moving Portrayal of History is Nothing Short of Amazing

Director Anthony Philipson
Writer Philip Ralph
Runtime 76 minutes
Genre Documentary

– No Spoilers –

Showcasing the time in history when Fascism was at its height and years before the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the historical documentary movie showcases physicist Albert Einstein running from being prosecuted in his homeland in Germany and ending up in a quiet English rural hut in a field in Norfolk. The documentary is a look at Einstein as a man and not just as the brilliant scientist and genius that we have come to know and revere.

The film is a unique exploration of the man who gave us some of the most important parts of life as we know it and the stories that we are shown in this magnetic movie are nothing short of extraordinary. With the words and thoughts taken right out of Einstein’s own mouth taken from historical records and the like, the movie’s pacing and storytelling are nothing short of engaging and thoroughly moving. Viewers who don’t find themselves drawn to historical fiction/non-fiction will be engaged throughout the film’s runtime due to how well the movie is made with the help of recreations and archival footage.

Einstein and the Bomb Review

Aidan McArdle plays Albert Einstein in the movie and the way he portrays the historical figure with such a magnitude is beyond impressive. As I mentioned previously, we see Einstein not just as a man of science and great influence we also see him as a person who is kind and wants peace not just for himself but for everyone around him. McArdle plays the character with surprising warmth and relatability and one cannot avert their eyes even when we see key moments from history, as well as the unseen ones, recreated for consumption.

With only a 79-minute runtime, the movie has a ton of archival footage showcasing not only Einstein’s moments, but moments of Hitler giving impassioned speeches to the citizens of Germany who were swept up by nationalistic ideals. The footage will make a thorough impression on anyone watching and there were moments I got goosebumps watching a nation going down a dark road that leads to unfavourable destinations. Coupled with these videos are well-made voiceovers from Einstein’s POV as we hear his opinions about the changing social and political climate of his homeland and how that affected the rest of the world.

Einstein and the Bomb Review

The scenes in Norfolk end up becoming the place where we see Einstein’s truth and you can feel his emotions in those sequences. However, what will really hit the mark and break your heart are the videos and pictures of the atrocities in concentration camps which will make the hairs on your body stand up. It’s so disturbing to watch and coupled with the eerie voiceover that also sounds almost in pain, one cannot help but feel drawn to a story that has been etched in time.

Of course, the story isn’t just about Einstein’s distaste for Hitler and the Nazis but about how Einstein’s invention changed the course of the world in one large puff of smoke. The Hiroshima disaster comes out of nowhere towards the end of the runtime but we knew it was coming, thanks to the title. However, when the bomb finally drops, we see Einstein’s thoughts and his guilt for playing a part in the making of the deadly weapon. It raises questions about the price of freedom and whether dropping a horrible radioactive bomb is the answer to peace. Can peace be achieved at the cost of millions of innocents?

Einstein and the Bomb Review: Conclusion

Einstein and the Bomb Review

This thrilling exploration of several topics surrounding Einstein will leave anyone and everyone in awe. There are moments when you will watch one of the most brilliant people in the world explore the concepts of physics in awe and admiration while the death of millions of Jews at the hands of the Nazis will leave you teary-eyed. The movie is surprisingly emotional and thought-provoking and, albeit rooted in science, its nuanced emotional moments will grip your heart in ways you couldn’t have imagined.

The documentary, thus, evokes many feelings that intertwine and make us think – what is the cost of freedom and peace and are we ready to pay it?

Einstein and the Bomb is streaming on Netflix.

Also Read: Little Nicholas Life Of A Scoundrel Review: Thoughtful Docuseries Showing How Power and Ambition Can Cause Harm

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