Date watched: Saturday 29th July 2017
Year released: 2017
First time watching?: Yes
From IMDb: “Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.”
I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I do find anything to do with WWII an absolutely fascinating period of British History. The rising up of everyone to do what they could to help is a true representation of British spirit.
Everyone knows the basics of what happened at Dunkirk, when a series of tiny civilian vessels appeared on the beach to take the soldiers back home. Seeing these events portrayed on the big screen was nothing less than extraordinary.
This is not a character driven movie. The performances are outstanding all around, but as the movie starts you are dropped right into the middle of the war zone in France, and there is no time to become attached to any of the characters. What you get instead is the real feeling that you’re in a dangerous place and all anyone wants to do is just get out of this mess and go home.
The film is laid out as a trifecta, with three mini arcs occurring at different speeds which all culminate at the same point. Land is represented by the soldiers on the beach, Air is represented by an air pilot, who despite the lack of character development could easily be argued as the overall hero of the movie, and Water represented by following a specific civilian fishing boat on its journey to rescue the stranded soldiers.
Even though the movie isn’t character led, the movie itself is no less impressive. Arguably I would say it is some of Christopher Nolan’s best work. The film really impresses upon you the hardships then men on Dunkirk beach were facing, and the true spirit of the civilians who took their undefended boats straight into a warzone to rescue their stranded kin.
Totally worth seeing on the big screen. I don’t think this movie will be half as impressive when watched at home, but I’m pretty sure it’ll stand the test of time as one of the greatest war movies cinema has produced.
My rating: 9/10