Being an avid war film fan, I was beyond excited seeing the trailer for Dunkirk and couldn't wait until it hit theatres. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. By the end of the film, I was actually mad.
I have to agree with some of the reviewers here who've stated that many of these glowing reviews are paid for, because what they're describing isn't even the same film.
Before the artsy-fartsy daggers come out--no, I don't need tons of backstory to feel invested in the characters. It's war, it's brutal, and I can surmise what it must be like for these brave souls. But when I come out the film and can't remember a single character's name (or worse, even care about them), that's just crap storytelling. Art should inspire a connection. This left me devoid of anything to be honest.
Scale...I may as well have been watching a tiny pocket of some soldiers, fighting some war, taking place somewhere. Part of what's so astonishing and inspiring about Dunkirk was its sheer scale. This insipid attempt to condense it to bite-sized POVs is insulting. You would expect at the end when the character (I literally can't remember his name) began reading Churchill's announcement to be roused by emotion. But since the film didn't generate any, and the delivery was so bland, it didn't even click with me what he was reading until I heard, "We shall fight on the beaches."
Lastly, a film doesn't have to be linear so I don't mind differing time lines. This however, was like some art-house, "look at how cool I play with time" film school project. I'm sorry...GAWD I'm sorry... but this was bad. I think about 100+ reviews explained why it doesn't work.
Storytelling has been used by our species for centuries to share POVs, be morality tales, entertain screaming kids who won't sleep...you get the picture. NONE of that happens if your audience doesn't connect with the story. This was an experiment and indulgence. A $150M indulgence and waste of viewers' time and money. Shame on you.
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