Starring: Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Fionn Whitehead, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Written by: Christopher Nolan
Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 1 hr 46 min.
Dunkirk is an event in itself covering an event. Not something that’s too concerned with individual people and outcomes, but more a collection of moments, sounds, music and visuals that collectively work as a unique movie going experience. You’re not necessarily required to care about any of the individual stories in Dunkirk, but simply absorb Christopher Nolan’s creation and unpack everything after the credits have rolled.
In that regard, complaints about this movie’s cold unfeeling approach to the tragedies and victories within this historical event, are well founded. Dunkirk doesn’t seem interested in celebrating any individual victories in the face of insurmountable odds. It just wants you to appreciate the magnitude of the situation, and the dangers closing in from all directions. Nolan, in my estimation, wanted you to feel surrounded and trapped like the soldiers on the beach. This film in that regard is very successful, but it can also be quite exhausting to watch.
Between the movie’s quick pace and ever-present pounding score, Dunkirk doesn’t give the audience any time to breathe. Which was a problem for me. I appreciated what the film was trying to do, but I would have preferred a more character dependent approach to this story. As opposed to the oh-so-clever jumps in the timeline.
Ultimately your enjoyment of Dunkirk will depend on how important characters are to you in this subtext. This is a gorgeous well-made film that takes a step back to view the events at Dunkirk as a whole. It doesn’t, however, take the time to develop any of its characters beyond war movie archetypes. Dunkirk was a fascinating experience, just not a moving one.
The movie jumps around the timeline, and covers the story from three different perspectives: land, sea and air. Each covers a specific period of time in the story. Be patient with this, it gets clearer as familiar objects are viewed from each perspective.
Best Moment: << spoilers!>>
I loved the last moments of Farrier’s (Tom Hardy) time in his Spitfire. The beach landing was beautifully shot and the Spitfire is one of the most beautiful planes ever build.