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Dunkirk: Movie Review


Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan’s first film based off of a historical event premieres this weekend. This film takes us to the event in Dunkirk, a town in France, from which the film takes its title. In 1940 at the beginning of World War II there was an evacuation of the Allied troops, consisting of French, Belgian and British soldiers. The trailers for this film didn’t show much of any action sequences or dialogue, it just had flashes and cuts of film footage. So I went into this film only knowing what I have read about this little known event (at least to to us here in the United States).

I must say they did a good job adapting the event into a film, mostly condensing the events into a proper time frame, since the actual evacuation of 300,000 Allied troops took place from May 26th to June 4th. The film pace was very steady and everything was succinct, no act seemed too long and there never was a long lull in the plot. One thing this film seemed to lack is dialogue, which in this case does not negatively affect the film. Dunkirk doesn’t really need dialogue in order to tell the story or as an exposition tool, Nolan decided to tell his story using imagery and sound as his main tools. One interesting aspect is at one point the film starts to jump backward and forward in time to tell its story, but it does it in a way that isn’t confusing or distracting its very well laid out. It is a film that fills the viewer with feelings of hope, anxiety, frustration, anger; it pretty much puts the audience through the ringer on an emotional level. This is a well-crafted film by Christopher Nolan that shows us he’s a master filmmaker.

Yet, with this seeming masterpiece there are some issues with it that I have, the biggest issue being how at times it just seemed to lack emotion. Now this I understand is one of the biggest issues that Nolan seems to have with his films, for example Interstellar is his most recent film where the relationship between Murph and Cooper seemed a little forced. I am not saying it’s a bad film, I like the movie it’s just a trend I have started to notice with the Nolan films. As stated earlier it does put you through an emotional ringer, which I feel the musical score by Hans Zimmer, long time collaborator with Nolan, is the main reason that happens. His typical scores start off softly, quietly and then crescendos to a full loud sound overtaking the theater goes perfectly with this kind of film. It adds to the intensity of the dogfights and adds to the suspense of incoming bombs from enemy planes coming right at the troops on the ground left on an open beach. That makes up for the lack of emotion that some other scenes have, remember not all scenes seemed devoid of emotion, just some.

The significance of this film is that it brings attention to an important event right at the beginning of World War II that could’ve lead to the Allies doom. This retreat back to England was a result of the Blitzkrieg but right as the Germans had the Allied troops surrounded they backed off. This is the only reason the Allied troops were able to evacuate successfully thus leading to D-Day in Normandy and the Allied victory. This could’ve gone horribly wrong and the majority of the Allied troops killed in a few days, but Hitler himself ordered the German advance to stop and bunker down.

So thanks to Christopher Nolan we have a way to make this event and its significance known to American audiences, with a good adaptation. Now, 70% of this film was shot on IMAX film while most nowadays are shot digitally and on a smaller camera. Doing this is great publicity and also was a bit of a risk. The better the resolution, with this camera in comparison to standard cameras used in films, the more exposed to flaws in the effects and makeup or any visual error will become. But this didn’t happen here, there were no hints at poor visual or computer generated effects, which I am not sure if there are any computer generated ones since Nolan likes to do as much practical effects as possible. The fact that Dunkirk is being presented in multiple formats is also a plus, especially for film fans, it is such a treat to see a film shot in its original form. The cast was great as well but the story was the star of the film, Tom Hardy and Kenneth Branagh being the most recognizable from the cast list. All got a fair amount of screen time in my opinion and not one overshadowed the other, it was all a group effort and it made the film what it is. Overall a great film just with some small issues, which is perfectly fine. I will definitely see Dunkirk again while in theaters and I recommend it to all especially those who are history buffs and well of course the movie buffs.

Dunkirk (2017)
 Director: Christopher Nolan
Studio: Warner Brothers
Genre: Drama, Action, History
Release Date: July 21st, 2017
Author: Raymundo Ortiz
Raymundo Ortiz Raymundo Ortiz is our newest staff writer he doesn't have a bio yet, maybe he doesn't actually exist maybe he is a ghost... no one will know... not even Jon Snow.