Dunkirk (2017)

“Why? Why waste precious tanks when they can pick us off from the air like a fish in a barrel?” – Winnant

Number of Times Seen – 1 (20 Jul 2017)

Brief Synopsis – Three separate story lines about men caught in the Battle of Dunkirk giving us viewpoints of the event from Sea, Air and Land.

My Take on it – This is a film that I’ve been anticipating to see for quite some time and was pleased to actually get a chance to see it at the first showing at 10am on Opening Day.

Christopher Nolan is an amazing Director and his ability to show such a story from a three pronged perspective is another feather in his cap.

Each of the three stories takes place during different times of the battle itself and the ability to edit it all so perfectly together works extremely well here.

Nolan also wrote this story and as we all already know from previous films of his, he doesn’t need to tell a story in a true linear fashion in order for us to easily understand what he is trying to tell us.

This film jumps between the three storylines with such ease and I loved the various hints throughout as to possible connections between the storylines.

The supporting cast of Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance and Kenneth Branagh is great, but the main character here is the story itself which is filled with patriotism during a time of a seemingly unwinnable situation yet it is able to constantly give us the true feelings of hope amidst the despair itself.

The technical aspects of this film are superb and we get a real feeling that we are right there with these men during all three of the stories being told to us.

Don’t be fooled tho, this film is definitely a war story that shows us how men act and react under different wartime situations.

The choice to not give the enemy a true face is great because it allows us to focus on the characters we are presented with in these circumstances.

I can’t wait to see this film again to try and catch everything I probably missed during the first time around.

Bottom Line – Nolan once again proves here how great a storyteller he can be. The fact that he is able to tell a grander story with three different parts that all take place during different time frames of the battle yet keep us interested in all three parts is amazing. The cast is great here with Hardy, Branagh and Rylance all giving great supporting roles, but the story is the biggest character here. The technical aspects of the whole story are wonderfully done and we get a clear picture of what really happened during that battle. The use of a non-linear timeline works extremely well and I loved the hints towards it all as things keep moving forward.  Ultimately, this is a tale of patriotism during a seemingly unwinnable situation and it constantly gives off the feelings of hope under all circumstances. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The film is told from three points of view: on the beach with the infantry (including Fionn Whitehead and Harry Styles), the evacuation by the navy (featuring Cillian Murphy and Mark Rylance, showing how civilians came to the rescue) and then in the air (with Tom Hardy engaging in plane combat). Speaking about the narrative structure in Premiere magazine, Christopher Nolan stated: “For the soldiers who embarked in the conflict, the events took place on different temporalities. On land, some stayed one week stuck on the beach. On the water, the events lasted a maximum day; and if you were flying to Dunkirk, the British spitfires would carry an hour of fuel. To mingle these different versions of history, one had to mix the temporal strata. Hence the complicated structure; even if the story is very simple. Do not repeat it to the studio: it will be my most experimental film.” (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10)


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12 thoughts on “Dunkirk (2017)

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