‘Dunkirk’

dunkirk-posterOh, oh, oh. It’s visceral magnificence on screen. Grand gestures aplenty but the minutiae of wartime claustrophobia, fear and defeat balance this superb, emotional sweep of a film.

Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight) tells the true story of the rescue of 300,000 British, Belgian and French soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk, surrounded by an advancing German army. It’s the flotilla of weekend sailors and fishermen (and women) who save the day as the navy destroyers are picked off by the German air force.

A true ensemble piece – Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy along with newcomers Fionn Whitehead and Aneurin Barnard are just a few – that is a jigsaw of narratives of few words and which makes up the whole,  building to a rousing crescendo. Exhausting!

Rating: 89%

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2 thoughts on “‘Dunkirk’

  1. CineMuseFilms July 28, 2017 / 4:25 am

    I agree with your colourful phrase “visceral magnificence on screen” but I’m afraid that is all I could find in this film. It omits to actually tell the history of Dunkirk, saying nothing of Churchill, Hitler or even naming the Nazis. It doesnt explain that this was the turning point where Britain could have lost the war. While its a strong ensemble cast, none of the characters are developed and they remain vatars for battle in any theatre of war. If a viewer knew notihing of Dunkirk going into this movie, they’ll know nothing coming out.

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  2. Keith Lawrence July 28, 2017 / 4:59 am

    I certainly take your point (and being British and knowing what happened certainly helps) but it does beg the question – do films have to be history lessons?

    Cinema history is littered with ‘based on’ true events but which bear little resemblance to those said true events. I felt Nolan was commenting more on that ‘theatre of war’ and the minutiae of human suffering more than the specifics and its potential turning point of the war. In setting the scene by the simple opening statement “the enemy have [sic] driven the British and French armies to the sea”, Nolan throws us into the thick of it. And other than a couple of lines from Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance to facilitate the moving forward of the narrative, that’s moreorless it until the end and Churchill’s ‘fight them on the beaches’ speech. But even then, the speech is read by a young surviving soldier, emphasising the ‘everyday’ of the film’s focus.

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