I saw this movie yesterday. I liked it for the fact it did not have any love interest in the plot in the traditional sense. Love and war are themes that will never go away, and there is nothing wrong with this, because I like these movies too. The last one I enjoyed was Allied although it didn’t do well in the box office, but let’s get back to Dunkirk. The only love in this movie was a soldier’s love to be reunited with safety and comfort. There shouldn’t be any spoilers in this review unless you aren’t aware of the general happenings at Dunkirk. This will be my second review this year.
Dunkirk scored a high rating on Rotten Tomatoes (Tomatometer of 93%) and IMDB (Metascore 94%) It was victorious in the box office with earning 50.5 million in its opening weekend. I would rate it five out of five stars for the cinematography alone. Those shots from the sky looking down at the ships and boats. Damn! They were so impressive! The production design was absolutely amazing as was most everything about the movie! While the story really doesn’t have any twists and turns as most people know about the horrors of World War II, it does an amazing job reminding viewers how difficult survival was on land, sea, and air.
Nolan did a superb job weaving the stories together like he usually does, shared in an intimate way, and this to me was the whole purpose of this film. The interaction between Shivering Soldier (played by Cillian Murphy) and Mr. Dawson’s family (played by Mark Rylance) was just as tense as the assaults from the sky by German planes. It was Nolan’s shortest script and for good reason. It didn’t need much talking head. Tom Hardy who played Farrier was amazing throughout the movie although he wasn’t the only one carrying the film. Jack Lowden who played Collins was equally great. I rate the whole experience four and a half out of five stars.
Information about Dunkirk
Dunkirk is a movie about the rescue of Allied soldiers in France after being trapped and sitting ducks, for lack of better words, by the Germans forces. The evacuation took place between May 26th and June 4th in 1940. By the end of this rescue mission, with the help of small vessels transporting soldiers from the beaches to ultimate safety of larger ships and then land, there were many unnamed heroes and heroines in this story. The ending was perfect as it commented on the realities of war. It had a solid cast and believe one of the reasons the movie works well is some of the actors weren’t well known. Dunkirk was written and directed by Christopher Nolan. The more recognizable actors were Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh, and Mark Rylance. And then there was Harry Styles who did a good job. Not once did I think there’s the guy from One Direction throughout the movie.
Why Not Five Stars
The reason for not giving it five stars was the partial confusion of the title usage in relation to time. The movie focused on three primary areas: air, sea, and land, which was the way it should be because this is how wars are fought. I don’t consider myself a dummy by any means as even my roommate was a little confused about it until we realized what was actually happening. I enjoy movies rolled out in a non-chronological order. I just wish I had some reference as to what one week, one day, and one hour meant in terms of how they were all related at the beginning instead of later in the film. Looking back it makes me wonder why I didn’t get it right away, but glad I’m not the only one. While I wish the ending (movie wise not historical wise) had happened differently for selfish reasons, I’m glad it wasn’t that way because nothing is completely one way or another. One of the main characters didn’t fully arc as pointed out by my roommate, but then again not all of the characters had the ability to fully complete their circle, which is what war presents to soldiers. Could a person really fully return to “normal” once back from this particular war if he survived or any war for that matter? I have my suspicions, but I’m not willing to answer that question right now. Let’s just say trauma changes a person and no matter how hard you try to shove a square object into a round opening, it will not fit.
I believe this movie will stand the test of time as it is currently being viewed as a well-crafted movie for many reasons and Oscar buzz seems to be already buzzing. I liken this movie to Fury despite it having a much higher production value. If anyone wants to watch Fury, I highly recommend it. It was written and directed by David Ayer. But again, let’s get back to Dunkirk. With absolute certainty I was wholly invested in every character and every scene from start to finish. My biggest disappointment was not finishing all the popcorn when the credits rolled and on top of that not wanting a refill. This has NEVER happened before so maybe I won’t get any popcorn and just enjoy the movie the next time. Probably not, but I can dream, right?