Steamy Scene in Oppenheimer Sparks Controversy

Steamy Scene in Oppenheimer Sparks Controversy

Oppenheimer has Set Off a Heated Debate

The inclusion of a steamy scene in the film Oppenheimer has set off a heated debate, with some Indian citizens accusing the filmmakers of disrespecting Hinduism. The scene in question features Oppenheimer (played by Cillian Murphy) and Jean Tatlock (portrayed by Florence Pugh) lying in bed together in Oppenheimer’s room. In an unexpected twist, Jean gets up from the bed and walks towards the bookshelf.

She picks up a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, one of Hinduism’s sacred texts, and asks Murphy to read verses from the ancient Sanskrit scripture. To the dismay of some viewers, Oppenheimer reads aloud the infamous quote, “I am become Death, destroyer of worlds.” This quote is historically associated with the theoretical physicist himself, particularly in reference to the detonation of the atomic bomb he helped create during World War II in Japan.

The Indian Government Reacts to Oppenheimer

Steamy Scene in Oppenheimer Sparks Controversy

According to a report from the New York Post on Sunday (July 23), a segment of Indian audiences found the initial intimate scene in the film offensive due to its connection with the Bhagavad Gita. Uday Mahurkar, an official from the Indian Government Information Commission and a prominent author, conveyed his objections to Christopher Nolan in an open letter.

Mahurkar expressed deep concern about what he perceived as a direct attack on Hinduism in the film Oppenheimer. He emphasized the profound reverence that the Bhagavad Gita holds within Hindu culture and its significance as a source of inspiration for numerous sanyasis, Brahmacaris/Brahmacarinis, and other legendary figures known for living lives of self-control and selfless benevolence.

Furthermore, Mahurkar likened the scene to an assault on Hinduism and its followers, drawing parallels to conspiratorial actions taken by anti-Hindu groups. He urged Nolan to consider removing the scene, arguing that such a gesture would show sensitivity and earn him the friendship of billions of well-intentioned individuals.

The New York Post sought a response from Christopher Nolan in light of these serious accusations.

Christopher Nolan’s Perspective

The Bhagavad Gita, also known as Bhagawadgita, is an integral part of the Mahabharata—an epic work of literature—and takes the form of a poetic dialogue between Sri Krishna and his disciple, Arjuna.

According to information from the University of Udayana Bali, the Bhagavad Gita imparts the wisdom of Vedantic philosophy, rendering it the Fifth Veda for Hindus. It offers essential teachings that guide individuals towards liberation from worldly suffering and the attainment of spiritual enlightenment. Moreover, reading or reciting the Bhagavad Gita is considered equivalent to chanting the sacred word of Brahman, the Supreme Divine.

In response to the contentious scene between Oppenheimer and Jean, Christopher Nolan emphasized its importance in conveying the message of the biopic film. He argued that Jean Tatlock played a pivotal role in Oppenheimer’s life as the scientist responsible for creating the first atomic bomb used during World War II.

According to Nolan, understanding Oppenheimer’s life story, including his intimate relationships with women, was crucial to grasping the essence of the character. He believed that delving into their relationship was essential for a comprehensive understanding of the profound impact it had on Oppenheimer’s life, without shying away from depicting the intimacy between them.

By exploring Oppenheimer’s personal connections and emotions, Nolan aimed to provide a nuanced portrayal of the complex scientist and his entangled feelings.


In conclusion, the steamy scene in Oppenheimer has sparked intense debate and accusations of disrespect towards Hinduism. As the controversy unfolds, Christopher Nolan’s perspective on the scene sheds light on his intentions as a filmmaker to present a comprehensive and humanizing portrayal of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s life, while respecting the cultural sensitivities of his viewers. As discussions continue, it remains vital for artists and filmmakers to approach sensitive subjects with thoughtfulness and sensitivity, recognizing the profound impact their work can have on diverse audiences.