Movie review: Dunkirk


Courtesy of Google

Jasjot Kaur, Copy Editor

Once again Christopher Nolan has constructed a phenomenal film, this time, a documentary. The film Dunkirk is based on events that took place in World War II, specifically the battle and evacuation of Dunkirk. The movie focuses on British troops and the tremendous struggles they faced while they tried to escape Nazi Germany, who had them surrounded.

Nolan exhibits the plot in three viewpoints: air (planes), land (the beach) and sea (boats). The movie often cuts from one viewpoint to another, leaving the viewer grasping the edge of their seats. Action is displayed non-stop from the minute the movie begins until the last scene. There is not one second where you let out a sigh of relief or relax because before you know it, another plane has been shot down.

The cinematic production of Dunkirk was on an enormous scale. It became obvious that there was no CGI but rather real explosions of ships and aircrafts. When looking at Dunkirk from a cinematic perspective, my jaw dropped. The amount of extras placed on the beach during scenes was unbelievable, so many people worked together yet everyone was absolutely cohesive and all had a purpose. Crisp is the word to describe the filming as a whole. Cameras were in the air following fighter planes, in the water capturing struggling soldiers falling off torpedoed boats and on the beach as troops waited to be rescued. One specific scene that left me speechless was when soldiers were waiting for rescue boats and a Nazi plane zoomed past and shot at the soldiers. Thousands of actors and extras were seen dropping to the ground, covering their heads. The technique used to film the scene was visually genius. Rows by rows soldiers ducked down creating a visibly pleasing wave effect with an authentic feel of terror.

A few people have criticized about the lack of dialogue and character development in the film, but it needs to be taken into account that a war documentary should not be romanticized. This film captured the genuine essence of war. There was no need to know the names of all the characters and if they had wives or children because you were too worried about them surviving instead. Adding unnecessary dialogue would have detracted from the movie as a whole and the message it was portraying. The actors in the film ranged from well-known movie stars like Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy to newbies making their debut such as Fionn Whitehead and Harry Styles. Mixing the range of actor experience left the viewer unsure of which characters would survive or not. The characters did not have similar personalities which again represented real life situations of war. Alex, a British soldier played by Harry Styles, was selfish and offensive while George, played by Barry Keoghan, was an average teenager hoping to accomplish something substantial with his life. And well George, buddy you did just that and so much more, leaving those watching the film proud of your achievement.

Dunkirk is one of those movies that has the audience left in thought or striking up conversation from the minute they step out of the theater. You are left in thought about the lives and conditions of the soldiers who actually had to face the dread of war. I give Dunkirk  5 out of 5 paws and hope those who watch the film appreciate the grand production and the accurate portrayal of war.