Dunkirk is written and directed by Christopher Nolan, introduces Fionn Whitehead and stars Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy and Kenneth Branagh. Nolan tells the true story of how hundreds of thousands of British and allied soldiers were evacuated from the French beach under heavy fire from the advancing German army during the early stages of World War II.
Piecing together tales from land, sea and air, Nolan's vision for Dunkirk is like no war film that has come before. This unique addition to the genre carefully blends plot lines told over an hour, a day and a week, seamlessly interlocking to the stories of each of the principal characters. In doing so Nolan shapes what must be his finest work from a distinguished CV, creating a puzzle in which each abstract piece clicks perfectly into place.
Beginning his exceptional reign over Hollywood with the obscure Memento, followed by a superhero run with his sophisticated, genre re-defining Dark Knight Trilogy to the ever so baffling Interstellar. It might be tempting to be over-awed by the bewildering scale and complexity of Nolan's works. Dunkirk gives us the opportunity to pause and pay tribute to such a master at work, arguably at the peak of his career.
Like this year's Moonlight, Nolan displays cinematography at its finest. He tells not one but many peoples stories with little dialogue and masterful, beautifully crafted camera work, aided once again by Rylance, Branagh and Hardy's first class performances. The alluring, at times breathtaking aerial shots throughout the film in particular offer the best plane sequences since 86's Top Gun, culminating with an incredibly shot finale to the film. No spoilers but try and see this film on the biggest screen you possibly can, and you will be richly rewarded.
Surviving through strength or dying with courage is often the road directors take when approaching the war movies. Nolan narrates the story of how brave and desperate men try to escape to finally reach the safety of home. Home - a word which reoccurs throughout the film. The idea of a home almost visible from the Dunkirk beach - is used as a comfort to those who hear it. Under fire and in times of peril the word 'home' is often used to add a sense of humanity to the story and its characters. Nolan generates hope through his use of the word home, thoughts of home driving the quiet determination of every soldier and each civilian helper under fire throughout the evacuation.
Nolan is a director clearly in his prime, if not at the peak of his career. His vision for this movie has given us a milestone moment contemporary in British cinema. With an alternative, original look into war, Dunkirk evokes surreal feelings no other film of this wide genre has been able to do.
I am going to give Dunkirk:
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