Doctor Strangelove: or How I Loved to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb wins the award for best title to a movie EVER, but is really worth seeing? And most importantly, should I have watched it sooner?
Written and Directed by Stanley Kubrick, Strangelove (I’m not naming it by that full title every time, I mean come on…) is a satirical commentary on the crisis facing the world during the Cold War. It features events aboard the aircraft tasked with dropping a nuclear bomb on a particular target in mainland Russia, the base from which the command originates, and the War-Room that tries desperately to avert World War 3 from ever happening.
In a nutshell, Dr Strangelove is as close to a perfect film as I’ve ever seen. The more I watch of Kubrick’s work, the more appreciate his ability to craft a perfect movie. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find suspense, comedy, drama, action and much, much more.
I’m sure the majority of you out have seen that infamous scene of the soldier riding the nuclear bomb like a bucking bronco as it slowly careers it’s way to the surface. However for those of you that have not yet seen the film, I must tell you that you have not seen the half of what goes on in that scene.
The stakes of Doctor Strangelove make for one of the most tense experiences I’ve witnessed in a film (and I’ve watched Turbo: Power Rangers Movie at least 10 times). But seriously. There are few films made that leave such a sense of impeding doom hanging over you by the time of its climax. At no point is it unclear what will happen if and when this bomb is dropped, and, well, I’ll leave the rest for you to see.
Peter Sellers plays the titular war export of Nazi origin as well as the President of the United States and a very English RAF Officer, Group Captain Lionel Mandrake. Sellers plays each role as differently as the other actors on the screen. If you were not entirely sure, you could be forgiven for thinking they were played by different people.
As I say in all of my posts, it’s the characters that make a movie what it is, without characters you can invest in, a movie cannot survive past the opening 10 minutes (this is obviously my opinion and one I try so very hard to stand by regardless of its credibility). Doctor Strangelove’s characters are anarchic, flamboyant, colourful and every other synonym you can think of to describe a group of people as eclectically enjoyable to watch as they are.
Should I have watched Docto Strangelove sooner? No. I watched this film at the perfect time, at the perfect age, with the perfect amount of knowledge and experience behind me to appreciate the mastery of its production in its fullest. Had I chose to watch this as a petulant 16 year old, I can assure my option would be different to that of what it is 10 years later.
If you enjoy film, and want one that’ll captivate you in every way possible, Doctor Strangelove is that movie for you. Sit back, relax, and try not to have palpitations by the end credits.