Dr. Strangelove- Melissa Colbert
My first impression of Dr. Strangelove or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb was how well Stanley Kubrick created a film that was lighthearted as well as serious on a subject that was very controversial for its time. The fear of nuclear devastation after World War II created an atmosphere of suspicion, with everyone prepared and waiting for the â€śbombâ€? to drop. Kubrickâ€™s film portrays a worst case scenario in which humans fall victim to the machines of destruction they have created. I agree with Jackson Burgessâ€™ assertion that, in the movie, the machines â€śâ€¦are the villains, but in the images of the film there are the repeated juxtapositions of Man-sloppy, incompetent, unreliable, but full of hope and courage-and Machine-beautiful, functional, absolutely reliable. but mindless and heartlessâ€? (pg. 9, The "Anti-Militarism" of Stanley Kubrick). A human (General Ripper) was the one who ordered an unfounded attack on Russia as a result of some psychotic disorder (showing the fallibility of the human brain), and the â€śDoomsday Machineâ€? did exactly as it was created to do, strike fear and release total destruction (showing the reliability of machines).
The matter of nuclear war was and still is a serious one; however, Dr. Strangelove made it a rather blithe one, leaning far away from reality and more towards the outlandish and humorous. I feel that the film was not taken seriously because no one wanted to acknowledge the fact that they could live in such uncertainty and powerlessness, even the politicians, who we as Americans put our trust in, were powerless. Also, in spite of the very tragic end of the movie, there was a sense of optimism with â€śWeâ€™ll Meet Againâ€? playing in the background as the bomb went off. Even though Dr. Strangelove became more of an uncomfortable joke than a potential reality, I feel that its humor was what made it such a success.