Einstein and The Bomb review: This Netflix docu-drama fails to explode with potential

Karishma Jangid
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Einstein and The Bomb

Netflix's 'Einstein and The Bomb' takes a superficial look at physicist Albert Einstein's life and fails to impress offering minimal insight. 

Ever since its release, Christopher Nolan's 'Oppenheimer' made waves worldwide. The film is a biography of the scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer, creator of the atomic bomb that the USA used to destroy the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the film, Albert Einstein plays a minor role, primarily expressing concern over the bomb's creation. Wanting to elaborate on Einstein's story but failing miserably at it is Netflix's docu-drama 'Einstein and The Bomb'.

The documentary explores Einstein's life from his childhood to his death, highlighting his numerous scientific discoveries, primarily the theory of relativity. It particularly focuses on the legendary physicist's life after he was exiled from Nazi Germany due to his Jewish lineage. It looks at him like every movie has ever looked at a scientist - a tortured genius. It depicts the defamation and pain he endured because of his identity as a Jew, including his guilt for being safe while his fellow Jews suffered. To its credit, the documentary delves into Einstein's political ideologies and activism featuring real-life footage of Einstein as well as Hitler. However, that's not enough to keep the boat afloat.

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The documentary only scratches the surface of every topic it addresses, failing to ask important questions or thoroughly explore any subject. The depiction of Einstein's life feels artificial, lacking depth. Furthermore, by focusing solely on "Einstein" and "the bomb," it neglects to acknowledge other significant figures such as Oppenheimer or Einstein's wives, creating the impression that he lived a solitary existence. Most importantly, it seems that the documentary makers underestimate the intelligence of their audience. They incessantly repeat E=mc², as if assuming that the viewers cannot remember the equation unless it is reiterated countless times. It also avoids any other scientific information assuming that perhaps the audience is not smart enough to get it. 

The subject of the documentary had a lot of potential, especially after Oppenheimer's success. However, it's as if a college student made it the night before the deadline.

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