Dunkirk (2017)

PG-13   |    |  Action, Drama, History


Dunkirk (2017) Poster

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.


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18 July 2017 | awaisee50
9
| The event that shaped our world...
Few directors have such a reputation that the release of their new film is an event and Christopher Nolan is one of those and Dunkirk is certainly an event. Based on what had the making of a military disaster the Allies are cornered on a beach in Dunkirk with the Germans drawing in and massive Allied casualties followed by the invasion of Britain almost inevitable.

Initially focusing on one soldier, Fionn Whitehead, who joins the thousands of British troops trapped on the beach waiting to be evacuated the film opens out into three distinct areas, The Mule, essentially a pier where the massed troops wait to board naval ships overseen by Kenneth Branagh's naval commander , The Sea, which focuses on a small leisure boat captained by Mark Rylance and his two sons who cross the channel in their bid to help with the evacuation and The Air where spitfire pilot Tom Hardy and two other pilots attempt to shoot down various German Luftwaffe planes intent on bombing the rescue ships at sea as well as the troops on the shore line. Each story ties in with the other and Nolan's script cleverly shows the same moment from the three view points usually with a dilemma within each.

It's a credit to the cast that despite the paucity of dialogue all are uniformly good. Fionn Whitehead is a unifying thread throughout the film as he lurches from one life threatening crisis to the next. Rylance & Brannagh are stoic & brave each aware of the desperate situation they are in and poor old Tom Hardy, much like Bane in 'The Dark Knight Returns', spends the film with his face covered by a pilots mask with only his eyes to convey the ever worsening situation he's facing. Even little pop moppet Harry Styles acquits himself well.

Nolan handles all this brilliantly but what really takes this into another league is Hans Zimmer's music. Relentless, it compliments the action ratcheting up the tension to a nerve shredding crescendo. This is so brilliantly done that certainly the film feels like one long frighteningly real action scene albeit a true one. Nolan, together with Zimmer and his Editor Lee Smith, have put together one of the best Summer blockbusters this year made all the more extraordinary by having almost no dialogue but letting the pictures paint the scene. Shot in Imax 70mm its certainly worth seeing it this way as its immersive nature takes you headlong into the action which will have your heart beating as loud as anything in the film with its all too real explosions and its terrifying fighter plane engines screaming as they hone in on the exposed troops. If there's any justice at next years Oscars then Nolan, Zimmer and Lee should, at the very least, be nominated.

This is an extraordinary film of a moment that was far from the military's finest hour and though the soldiers are the first to admit that, 'All we did was survive', it's a tremendously patriotic film about the courage, not just of the soldiers, but of the civilians who selflessly took their own boats across the channel to rescue thousands and thousands of troops. This is a testament to the courage of the few for the many and is sure to feature in many top ten end of year lists and rightly so.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the soldiers are seen arriving at Woking railway station at the end of the movie, the station in question is actually Swanage railway station in Dorset. The station was extensively re-dressed for filming in July 2016, including all of its signage. Consistent with Christopher Nolan telling as much of the story as possible from the characters' point of view, however, the station is only ever glimpsed through the train windows, so nearly all of the re-dressing work done by the crew isn't actually seen in the final cut.


Quotes

Tommy: English! I'm English! Anglais!


Goofs

During the movie the beach is a cratered landscape, caused by continuous bombing. In the end sequence, when Farrier floats over the beach trying to land, the surface is completely smooth. However, many areas of the Dunkirk beaches were relatively flat and made of hard-packed sand. It has been recorded that pilots found it was an ideal landing strip, and some RAF aircraft did land on the beaches.


Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits, except for the film's title.


Alternate Versions

In Spain, the film was projected on 2.35:1 screens in the 2.20:1 aspect ratio. But the film was finally projected with black bars on the four sides of the screen. This same situation happened with Jurassic World (2015) and just before the film started a text appeared on the screen explaining the 2.00:1 aspect ratio fitting on the 2.35:1 screen adding black bars up an down. Dunkirk (2017) didn't show any explanation before the film.


Soundtracks

Impulse
Written by
Hans Zimmer

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Drama | History | Thriller | War

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