Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Commonwealth and Empire, and France are surrounded by the German Army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Commonwealth and Empire, and France are surrounded by the German Army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Commonwealth and Empire, and France are surrounded by the German Army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.
Christopher Nolan created a masterpiece once again
Christopher Nolan's World War II epic "Dunkirk" showcases the best and worst of the director's tendencies. The best win out and the worst recede in memory when you think back on the experience-provided that you want to remember "Dunkirk," a movie that's supposed to be grueling and succeeds. Less of a war film and more of a disaster (or survival) picture, it's an ensemble work that chronicles the evacuation of British soldiers who got trapped in the harbor and on the beaches of Dunkirk, France, in late May and early June of 1940, with the Germans, who had driven Allied forces practically out to sea, closing in for one last sweep. And if you see the movie in one of the handful of theaters showing it in 70mm IMAX format, the experience will feel even more constricting and oppressive because of the image's unusual shape. It's close to the old-fashioned "Academy" ratio common to films made in cinema's early decades: squarish, tall instead of wide. That means that when you're in the cockpit of a fighter diving towards the water, or running behind an infantryman dodging German snipers, the idea of "tunnel vision," a phrase spoken by many a catastrophe survivor, comes to life onscreen. The film has its share of stumbling blocks. One is the persistent anonymity of the characters; just because a gambit is a conscious part of the film's design doesn't mean it always works, and there are moments you may wonder whether treating supporting players as something other than glorified cannon fodder might have resulted in a film as emotionally powerful as it is viscerally overwhelming. Another miscalculation is the score, by Hans Zimmer, a Jungian din of booming drums, bum-vibrating synth chords, and cawing string effects that loses much of its power by refusing to shut up, even when silence or ambient war noise might have been just as effective, or more so. The overuse of Zimmer's music has been an issue throughout Nolan's career, but here may become an object of debate. The situations and images are so vivid that the score often seems to be trying to rescue a film that doesn't need its help.
- Apr 26, 2022
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