Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb ★★★½

Despite being one of the finest examples of genre-filmmaking that's neatly crafted, intelligently scripted & brilliantly acted, Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove is a film that I admire more than I love. I've no hesitation in calling it the ultimate black comedy or the perfect satire but I also won't deny that my experience with it was rather ordinary, regardless of the few laughs in between.

Set during the Cold War era, the story of Dr. Stangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb concerns a paranoid Air Force General who green lights a nuclear attack on Soviet Union without the knowledge of his superiors, thus causing mass panic in the Pentagon War Room where the President, his advisers, key officers & others desperately try to recall the bombers before they reach their destination.

Directed by Stanley Kubrick, the film is another masterwork of precision craftsmanship from the legendary director and I've nothing but admiration for its incredibly detailed n well-lit sets, the ironic elements in the script & its depiction of the complete absurdity of war. Camera-work is marvellously carried out especially during the base attack scene, Editing nicely balances its various subplots & its background score is a definite plus.

Coming to the performances, the film features an impressive cast in Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden & Slim Pickens. Sellers here plays not one, not two but three different characters & is excellent in each one of his roles. Scott only gets better as the film progresses, Hayden is quite grounded despite his unhinged character while Pickens doesn't leave much to complain about & plays his role straight.

On an overall scale, Dr. Strangelove might very well be the best political satire of all time for it criticizes the nuclear conflict between US & USSR in the most biting manner possible, but the farther we're moving from the Cold War era, the weaker its impact seems to be getting. It's full of crazy characters, is filled with memorable quotes & crafted with panache but despite its strong legacy, I don't feel much love for it. Maybe one day I will, but today is not that day.

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