Best film

Best Film:

Stanley Kubrik’s

“Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964)

“I became aware of it during the physical act of love” These are the words uttered by General Jack D. Ripper explaining when he first became aware of “fluoridation”, a communist plot to poison the water of Americans and lead to the eventual fall of capitalism.

To counteract this, the good colonel has instructed Captain Kong to drop a nuclear bomb on Russian soil. Ripper hopes that doing this will force the American armed forces to go on an all-out assault against the Soviet Union and topple the communist threat. He knows that there will be casualties, but he truly believes the ends justify the means. Meanwhile in the war room of the White House, the President is frantically doing everything he can to avert a nuclear holocaust.

That is the premise for Stanley Kubrik’s “Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” It is scary how timeless this story is. This material has been done as a melodrama (“Fail Safe”) and as an action thriller (“Sum of All Fears”), but it works best as a satire with dark comedic undertones.

The President’s name is Merkin Muffley for god’s sake (for those of you unfamiliar with the term ‘merkin,’ I refer you to Webster’s for a good laugh). The plausibility of how a nuclear war could be started and how people in power act when they realize that Armageddon is coming, is so frightening that it’s funny.

The response from Dr. Strangelove, a former Nazi nuclear scientist, is priceless as he rationally concludes, “such a device would not be a practical deter- rent for reasons which at this moment must be all too obvious.” The morbid humor in this movie is that the person- nel in charge of the nuclear bombings spend most of their time bickering and placing blame while the world’s fate is in peril.

The acting in this film is top notch. First off, you have Peter Sellers in three roles (President Muffley/Mandrake/Dr. Strangelove) and nailing all three of them. Each character is completely orig-inal and inspires laughter whenever they are on screen. The only thing more astonishing than Seller’s performance is that he doesn’t steal every scene he’s in. This is due to a brilliant performance by George C. Scott (as the very immature and overzealous General Turgidson) and Sterling Hayden (as the crazed General Ripper).

It is vital that we believe the charac ters’ actions are based on their personal- ity and not just a part of the script. The dialogue between the characters is absurd but believable, which is a good way to describe this movie. Absurd in the way that “fluids” is the main factor for a nuclear war. Believable in that incompetence from our military and politicians is the reason for a nuclear war.