Movie Review: Dunkirk
In these times of post-Brexit Britain, it feels like we as a people have lost our way a little bit. People who are flag waving patriots are often mocked in both the media and even by politicians, and the word nationalist has been hijacked by people who make out that to be one is a terrible thing.
As the UK looks to the wider world outside of the EU bubble and finds a new place in that world, it needs to rediscover what it means to be British, and this movie could not have come at a better time.
The movie is a masterpiece just let me get that out there right away. I have never seen a film that can make you care so much for the characters onscreen with such little back story. We don’t even the know the names of most of the characters on screen, but even that does not detract from the connection you quickly form with them. Even the amount of speech in the film is limited, but what there is it is hard hitting and impactful.
As a viewer, you are thrown straight into the action and thrown into the heart of the battle of Dunkirk itself. 400,000 men stranded on the beaches and the clock is constantly ticking towards either their capture or destruction. In a lot of ways, this movie is more of a thriller than a war film ala Saving Private Ryan. It’s all about the tension and the feeling of dread and hopelessness of being trapped in a place where the enemy is rapidly approaching. There are no bloody battle scenes. Instead, the fear is there that you know that at any moment the Nazis could appear on the horizon.
Hans Zimmers soundtrack is a masterpiece, raising the tension to nail chewingly high levels at times. It runs throughout the entire movie and sets the pace for the scenes on screen perfectly. The sound overall is incredible. The sound of German dive-bombers is truly terrifying, and the sounds of gunfire and explosions put you in the thick of this hellish scenario. It truly makes you feel as though you are one of those men trapped on that beach. Come Oscar season Hans had better get one!
The cinematography too is amazing especially the dog fighting scenes featuring Tom Hardy as a Spitfire ace. Stunning sky shots mix with long shots and first person viewpoints to make you feel as though you’re sat in the fighter cockpit with him. The tension of these scenes literally put me on the edge of my seat, and my wife held my hand in iron like grip throughout.
The acting in the movie is top-notch too with the likes of Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy and the excellent Mark Rylance doing amazing jobs in their respective roles. There’s been much talk about Harry Styles, and I have to say the part he played was done really well, he definitely wasn’t out of place.
When the small civilian ships arrive, I have to admit I had a tear in my eye and felt an immense pride in those brave people who risked so much to save their soldiers from annihilation. This film will give people a new appreciation of what occurred on what could have been Britain’s darkest day. The fact that those brave people turned a disaster into what would become a victory is simply incredible and makes you proud to be British. For such a masterpiece it’s surely time for Christopher Nolan to be recognised as one of the worlds greatest directors.
Final score – 10/10
A masterpiece of cinema as simple as that and the timing of its release should make British people confident in themselves and the future of their nation. When we work together, we can achieve the impossible.