Movie Review: Dunkirk

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Dunkirk

Dir.: Christopher Nolan

Rating: 3 out of 4

Can Christopher Nolan do any wrong? That’s the question we were all asking ourselves going into this movie. This movie tells the lesser known story of a group of English and French soldiers stranded on Dunkirk beach during World War II and the efforts of the local people across the channel trying to help.

Typically from a Nolan film we would expect to see a few things: action and intellect. If there is one thing this movie lacked, it is that thing about all Nolan movies that makes you think and wonder, that thing that leaves you thinking and debating about the movie after you’ve left. This is not a dig at the movie, but rather just a comment. You see, I didn’t feel like Nolan set out to do anything different than exactly what he did. I believe he wanted to tell a story about a battle in World War II, and thats it. And he did so beautifully.

There are a few strong and interesting things to note here. The first is the obvious lack of dialogue. This was an interesting choice but not one I disagreed with. It helped us to focus on what was happening: the sights and the sounds. It really allowed us to hone in on the action of war.

The score was pivotal in creating the tension of the movie. The ticking clock running throughout the movie created a sense of anxiety for the characters. It was as if we were racing along with the clock.

The  movie is split into three different timelines that eventually meet up at the end of the movie: one week, one day, and one hour. This is done absolutely beautiful as by the end of the movie, certain things we saw at the beginning in passing are explained through the action of the other timeline.

If there was, however anything negative to note, I think the casting was a little weak in certain places. I do not feel like the two roles should have been given to Harry Styles or to Tom Hardy. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Tom Hardy as much as the next guy, but these roles felt distracting. It felt like every other soldier was meant to feel like they were nobody important, almost as if to over-emphasize the fact that its about the story and not the characters, but having Styles in the mix brought too much attention to himself. Hardy on the other hand, had about three lines total so it could’ve absolutely been played by any ole Joe Schmoe. This isn’t a big complaint by any means however.

In order to end on a good note, one of the strongest aspects of this movie are the visuals. Everything from the ocean, the boats, and the beaches are stunning to look at. This movie is an absolute masterpiece of cinematography. Every shot feels handcrafted to be as beautiful as possible.

I’d give Dunkirk a very solid 3 out of 4.

P.S. I’m switching to an out of four rating rather than an out of ten rating as its a little more professional.

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