“Wars are not won by evacuations”- Winston Churchill on Dunkirk
Christopher Nolan is probably one the if not thee best director/producers in the game. So when we heard he was working on a war movie our eyes lit up faster than when we heard Anne Hathway was Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises.
Based on true events, ‘Dunkirk‘ captures the 1940 WWII evacuation of stranded and surrounded British soldiers in Dunkirk, France. The evacuation at Dunkirk was chiefly aided by civilians in small local boats as the then Prime Minister, newly elected Churchill, was reluctant to send resources for a lost battle as they were preparing for the next one.
Nolan weaves a larger realist (acceptance of a situation for what it is) narrative from three smaller existentialists (every individual is free to choose his own path) narratives as he, once again, plays with the concept of Time. The events in the movie take place on land, sea, and sky and are captured within a week, day and hour respectively. The events on land embody the lives of the soldiers; the day at sea manifests the story of the civilians rushing to the aid of their stranded soldiers while Tom Hardy is our protagonist who saves countless lives in the duration of one hour in the sky. The three different story-lines run parallel, independent of each other, till they collide at the end leaving a stunned and silenced audience.
It is refreshing to see Nolan capture war as a reality- doing great justice to it in all aspects- without the blood, guts, and gore. Each character within the story represents a collective without the hassle of a complex backstory. These attributes of ‘Dunkirk’ make it stand miles apart from other great war movies like Pearl Harbour, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan etc that revolved around the melodramatic. The minimalist dialogue also adds to the intensity that Hans Zimmer creates with silence, minor notes, heartbeats and the furious ticking clock. All things considered, Nolan encapsulates the reality of war: hopelessness, paranoia, fear, anxiety, trauma, anger, sorrow; through exceptional camera work in tangent with bone chilling audio.
The Review Job:
Audio effects/Score: Hans Zimmer
Tom Hardy beast moments: 9/10