Reviewed bysomfVote: 10/10/10
Saw an early screening tonight in Denver.
I don't know where to begin. So I will start at the weakest link. Theacting. Still great, but any passable actor could have been given anyof the major roles and done a great job. I know almost no more aboutthe battle of Dunkirk after seeing the film than I did before, and I amnot exactly a WWII historian. Truth be told, I learned all I know aboutthe battle of Dunkirk from the movie poster. Does that weaken the film?Hell no, this is a film about survival. The opening scene tells it alland sets the stage as we get our first glimpse into a young soldier'sneed to stay alive, and his creative attempts to do so. That actor mayeven be considered the main character of the film. More words have beenwritten so far in this review than he speaks. And I have no clue whothe actor in that role is. It is humorous that Tom Hardy looks likeBane through most the film in the role of a pilot wearing an oxygenmask throughout. Kenneth Branagh is the only officer with any lines inthe film, so that should give you an idea of the POV that weexperience. We are the enlisted man trying to find a way to stay alivein a chaotic and harrowing battle. Though I believe Dunkirk will winevery single technical Oscar, I would be surprised if it has any actingnominations at all.
How does Nolan elevate this above other films of a similar nature? Ithink he says it best himself, when he describes Dunkirk as a thrillermore than a war film. He pulls that off superbly.
When a ship starts to take in water as numerous bullets penetrate itshull, I wanted to jump out of my seat and cover up the holes myself.
The film has three separate stories that are titled Mole, Sea and Air.And we all know where Moles live. The way the narratives of the threestories unfold and how they are all tied together is what makes thefilm a masterpiece. Much has been said about Nolan using IMAX filmcameras and how the film is enriched by this. I don't know. I doubt Isaw actual film being projected at my screening. Every frame lookedterrific though.
So what is the most superlative aspect of the film? Gotta be thesoundtrack. Hans Zimmer will win the Oscar for this without a doubt. So, so brilliant. This is not a soundtrack that I would buy at the storeand play on my stereo. This is a soundtrack that weaves throughout thethree narratives seamlessly and creates this phenomenal sense oftension. There are times when a two or three minute tense orchestralpassage plays continuously as the story shifts from the ground to thesea then to the air and the music draws the three stories together.Zimmer's soundtrack reminds me of the way that Bernard Hermann's workwas so vitally important in building suspense in most Hitchcock films.Though that description almost sells Zimmer short. His soundtrack isthat good.
I don't think this is a film that will retain even half of its strengthin your home theater. No folks, this is a film that you cough up for anoverpriced IMAX ticket and rationalize it by knowing that experiencingDunkirk in any other fashion will just not cut it.
Reviewed byNimai KolegaVote: 10/10/10
Dunkirk is, in my opinion, yet another masterpiece from mastermindChristopher Nolan. Since everything that is brilliant about the filmhas already been said I will briefly write what I think of the film andalso touch on a topic that some people are criticizing the movie for.
The fantastically directed film is told from 3 perspectives nonchronologically. It superbly tackles the narrative and the non linearstory doesn't at all pull you away from the intensity of the eventshappening on screen that don't stop from 00:00 to the last scene. HansZimmer most likely gives one of the most fitting scores for a war filmever. Sometimes there is only one note playing followed by heartbeatsounds and a ticking clock while other times a massive orchestra isinterpreting what is going on on screen. The movie brilliantly projectsthe feeling of each and every soldier on the beach to the audience.Confusion, turmoil and fear. The cinematography was breathtaking and Ifelt anxious throughout most of the run time. There is no lead in thisfilm and I can't really say anyone stuck out as giving a brilliantperformance because it wasn't needed and I'll explain why.
The biggest criticisms of Dunkirk that I've heard of so far are thatthe characters are lacking in depth and that we aren't given anythingto be invested in them. I feel like Nolan was trying (successfully) tomake the audience care for each and every one of the men on the beach.He needed to have some form of "main characters" to be in the story sothat we can see the events unfold from the direct perspective of all ofthe soldiers. Usually in war films (I'll use saving private Ryan as anexample) the plot revolves around certain soldiers (like Cpt. Millerand Ryan) being in a war and doing things in the war but its stillabout THEM not THE WAR as much. In my opinion Dunkirk is a telling theSTORY OF DUNKIRK. Not of Harry Style's character or Tom Hardy'scharacter but of Dunkirk. What any of the "main characters" felt, everyother soldier felt. Nolan resorted more to film-making techniques totell the story rather than dialogue and that is why some people mighthave had a problem with the lack of character depth but realisticallythis type of terrible event wouldn't be a place for someone to"develop" as a character but rather a event where MEN WANTED ONLYSURVIVAL, and Nolan showed that perfectly. As for what the top reviewof Dunkirk on IMDb says about 'lack of emotion' in the film, I believethis to be a completely incorrect statement. Maybe he was referring tothe lack of 'brotherhood amongst men' or the feeling of moral orsomething epic like that. Again the longing for the 'Saving PrivateRyan' format of war films. What the reviewer fails to see is thatrealistically there was NO emotion on that beach besides fear andconfusion. And I can safely say that Nolan and Zimmer and the DP allsuccessfully gave us those feelings.
Evacuation of Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, between May 26- June 04, 1940, during Battle of France in World War II.