Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan is one of my favorite directors around so I had to see Dunkirk. It’s also not a story I’m very familiar with although I knew what it was about- the evacuation of British troops from Dunkirk as France falls to the Nazi’s. A lot of the evacuation tended to fall on civilian boats and people as the situation became more and more desperate.
First of all the good. This is a beautifully shot movie- especially the scenes of the dog-fighting in the air. The sound effects and Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack are really great. I felt like it blended well and worked to create that atmosphere of tension without overpowering the film.
It’s interesting to because I wouldn’t say this is a dialogue heavy movie at all so sometimes you really are just relying on the sounds of war, along with the silence, to make your point.
Performance wise everyone was great from people like Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy and Sir Kenneth Branagh all of whom I always think are going to be great. I had no problem with the performances of the young soldiers either and yep, I’m including Harry Styles in that. I’ve heard some people say oh, he’s awful. He can’t act. He’s not in league with the three I mentioned but he was fine. Didn’t pull me out of the movie at all. Carried his load. I’d be interested in seeing him in more.
Dunkirk has three separate timelines. The soldiers from the beach (one week), the main civilian ship (one day) and the pilots in the air (one hour.) It works in the end and I could follow it but at the same time just from talking to people I know that I missed some tidbits here and there.
The timeline thing was fine in the end but I don’t think it was particularly necessary. Fionn Whitehead and Aneurin Barnard who played basically the two main soldiers were good but I had a hard time in some places remembering which one was which. More time could have been spent giving something to those characters to make them stick more in my head.
This movie is definitely going to be a rewatch for me. In regards of technique and performances and scale and interest I’d put it up in one of the best of the year. But for me personally I had a hard time connecting to it. Save for my love of Hardy in that pilot’s get up and thoughts about bonfires on beaches with him that I certainly shouldn’t be having even fleetingly during a war movie.
I’m off track.
(I also spent too long wondering where I knew the guy in all the scenes with Branagh before going home and realizing it was James D’Arcy- Jarvis from Agent Carter!)
Anyway technically and performance wise this movie was everything I hoped for and I’d definitely recommend seeing it in theaters. (Although I really don’t buy the whole you must see it in IMAX. I’m sure it’s great but I don’t even know where the closest IMAX is to me.)
Recommend: Yes. And I think this is one that’s going to benefit from a rewatch.