Dunkirk is directed and written by Christopher Nolan, one of the best storytelling directors in all of film history, ranging from Memento to Inception to The Dark Knight Trilogy. Needless to say, the man has a great track record.
In May of 1940 during WWII, Dunkirk tells the story of the evacuation of four hundred thousand men who were methodically under attack by the Germans while being stranded on the beach of Dunkirk. It’s the story of how the men escaped and survived.
As I mentioned, this is a Christopher Nolan film. Critics and audiences alike have every right to be excited for what Nolan can bring to a war film. Dunkirk is no exception.
From a technical standpoint, Dunkirk is essentially filmmaking perfection. From sound design to every shot of landscape on screen, Christopher Nolan made one of the most visually impressive films I’ve ever seen in theaters.
This is a completely immersive film that drops you right in the middle of war from the opening scene. From the first shot, you are in this story. There is no real introductions to any characters such as a typical war film would do. There is very limited characterization in Dunkirk. It’s just men trying to survive.
Dunkirk is strictly a film about war and it looks effectively real.
While it is appreciated that Nolan ―being the bold director that he is ―decided to minimum the character development with small amounts of dialogue, it does hinder the film.
Since the audience knows virtually nothing about any of our main characters, it’s difficult to emotionally connect with these men whose lives are at risk. There’s no one person to gravitate towards in this horrible situation because the emotional investment just isn’t present.
However, I’m mostly able to look past this flaw once I realized the magnitude of the predicament for these soldiers at Dunkirk. In the heat of the moment, these men wouldn’t have the time to talk about their lives at home. They’re focused on just surviving and that’s the theme of the film.
In the end, Dunkirk is an earnestly bold, unconventional war film like no other before it. Despite the simplest of characterization, the story doesn’t holds back punches. Being boosted by incredible filmmaking and solid performances from capable actors from Tom Hardy to even Harry Styles, made for an enjoyable, but very poignant experience.
I’m going to give Dunkirk a “B+” on the movie grading scale. Not necessarily one to rush out and see right away, but an important film to bookmark if you’re a fan of Nolan or just a straight film hipster.
As always, thanks so much for reading and make sure to stay posted to Frank’s Takes for more reviews. Until next time, keep it 100.