This week, even though we are not a fan of War movies, we went to see Dunkirk, simply because its director Christopher Nolan had given us some cinematic masterpieces such as The Dark Knight and Inception.
The film was like nothing we had seen before as it plays almost like a silent movie, in that there is not much in the way of script, we mainly just follow two soldiers Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) and Gibson (Aneurin Barnard) and their desperate attempts to evacuate the beach and get back to England whilst surrounded by the German army in World War II
The film shows us the timelines of those on the land, those on boats leaving England to try and rescue the troops and we also, mainly through pilot Farrier (Tom Hardy) follow the fight in the air.
We see Tommy and Gibson’s attempt to board a boat halted by a torpedo attack which sees them save and befriend Alex (Singer Harry Styles)
As we follow their perils, we also follow one of the trawler boats heading to Dunkirk to help evacuate the troops, captained by Mr Dawson (Mark Rylance) his son Peter (Tom Glynn-Carney) and local teenager George (Barry Keoghan)
Through them, we see the effects of war, when they save a soldier from the water (Cillian Murphy) and it from them we can also follow the fight in the air, as Farrier flies over head, engaging with the enemy as the rescue mission takes place.
This really is like a film we have not seen before, at times it can feel more like a documentary and the visuals and especially the sound (which really deserves the Academy award) and stunning score from Hans Zimmer make this an experience that is well worth your time.
However, the film is not without faults, the cast including Styles are excellent especially Rylance, yet even the likes of Kenneth Branagh as the pier-master and James D’Arcy as the colonel do not really do much, as you follow them in the films real time.
The film is an amazing lesson in film making but as a movie sadly despite all its achievements, I did not feel as invested in the characters, yes wanted them to get to safety, yet with very little character development, if someone was shot or hurt, I didn’t have the heartbreak that I felt in the recent War for the Planet of the Apes.
I personally also felt that the 12a certificate may have hurt it too, the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan or most of last year’s Hacksaw Ridge showed the impact of enemy fire and the blood and gore that is shown means you have to take notice of what has happened.
Dunkirk is a great film yet without the attachment to characters, it just was not an amazing film for me, however I know many others who totally disagree, especially veterans involved, who served and protected us in the war so this does serve as a fitting tribute to them!
We urge you to watch this for the master class it is in film making and we hope we never have to witness the horrors those soldiers went through in our lifetime
You can watch the Dunkirk trailer and learn more about Dunkirk at the movie website here: