Dunkirk (2017)
10/10
Made Me Proud To Be British
24 July 2017
Christopher Nolan ? Someone is rather over-hyped in my opinion. He's a director who often reverts to gimmicks in order to sell a movie. Woul MOMENTO have worked in a completely linear structure ? Would INCEPTION have worked without the groundbreaking special effects . Would THE DARK KNIGHT trilogy have worked without the ready made audience for a BATMAN reboot ? To be fair at least with a Nolan movie the film sells itself and with DUNKIRK there's always the problem that a film like this is going flop big time due to the fact that it involves a military defeat of sorts which is box office poison along with the fact that British stiff upper lips don't translate very well to an international audience. In other words I didn't have exceptional hopes for DUNKIRK but even I have to admit this film really delivers and it's all down to the director

If you've seen the trailers you know you're going to be watching cinematic spectacle and that's what you're getting . What the trailers don't convey is the oppressive and hypnotic soundtrack by Hans Zimmer which will grab you from the first scene. It's intrusive for sure and crushing but adds to the tension. Make no mistake this is a masterwork in tension . The fractured storyline concerns itself with three distinct sections . One involves the dilemma of the aptly named British soldier Tommy , one involves a RAF fighter patrol over the channel and the final storyline involves a civilian boating expedition to the Dunkirk beaches . These story lines are developed and edited superbly . One storyline is structured so ends on a cliffhanger cut to another storyline ending to a cliffhanger then cut to the dilemma being resolved but is really a case of out of the frying pan in to the fire

What also makes DUNKIRK noticeable and sets it apart from other recent war films is the lack of star power . Yeah okay we've got familiar faces like Hardy , Rylance , Murphy and Brannagh but it's the unknowns and up and coming actors like Whitehead , Barnard and Lowdon who carry the film and helps you buy in to the real life situations these characters are experiencing. It's refreshing that we don't get to see a name actor like Pitt or Cruise turn up to save the day complete with colonial accent . Despite the heart stopping tension and carnage constantly grinding the audience down there's also a distinct lack of gore and "war porn" which is also refreshing

One biting criticism the film seems guilty of is that it's somewhat cold and aloof with a lack of backstory to the characters lack development. I can understand these points but as I said this film is all about heart pounding tension. One also concludes that there's expressionistic elements in that the characters are shocked by what looks like nihilistic inevitable defeat and this is conveyed to the audience Imagine if Spielberg had directed it where sentimental clichés are to the fore , some soldier pulling out a photograph of his pregnant wife saying how much he loves her and the audience knowing there and then he's not going to make it the end credits. Here however you're thrown in to the cockpit of Collin's Spitfire , of Mr Dawson's small boat or being stuck in a sinking ship with Tommy

If there's one thing I regret after seeing this film it's that I didn't watch it in a proper IMAX cinema. I was left gasping at some of the scenes thinking "How could this scene be possibly be better ?" but a couple of days later after I've calmed down I do think not watching it on a proper IMAX screen has been a major mistake and I hope anyone reading this doesn't make the same mistake because DUNKIRK mixes spectacle with distressing personal dilemmas. Some people class the real life evacuation of Dunkirk as a defeat for the allies while other like myself class it as a "Victory grabbed from the jaws of defeat". Regardless of this opinion DUNKIRK is a victory of filmmaking . Filmmaking that made me bloody proud to be British
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