Christopher Nolan delivers another thrilling film, but this time it’s not a mind-bending sci-fi or a Batman movie. Instead, he decided to take on the daring task of a war film, and it surpassed all expectations. The film stars Tom Hardy, Fionn Whitehead, Mark Rylance, Aneurin Barnard, Damien Bonnard, and Harry Styles. Dunkirk is about the rescue mission of four-hundred thousand men during World War II. The British and French soldiers were surrounded by the German army and they were slowly closing in, hour by hour. We see the point of view of this event through, the helpless army on the beach, the navy, the air-force, and a small group of weekend sailors who are on a mission to deliver life jackets and take men back with them.
Dunkirk is the most gripping and intense war film since Saving Private Ryan. The reason for this is not only the constant action, but for the race-against-the-clock scenario. There is this constant feeling of uneasiness that gets to us and makes us stare at the screen until our eyes can no longer handle it. There is barely any CGI used in this film, making for a realistic experience. All the planes, boats, and explosions are real and make the film even more intense. People always say; “You’ll be on the edge of your seat”, but this time its’s true. Don’t bother buying popcorn, because you will not find the time to eat it.
Frequent Nolan collaborator, Hans Zimmer, created the intense and pressure-building score for this film. Often you can tell just by Zimmer’s score that it’s a Nolan film, but with Dunkirk, the music is designed to heighten out nerves and push us to the edge of our seats. Along with the incredible music, is a ticking sound that reminds us of the enemies that are pushing in closer and closer.
What’s wonderful about this film is that the entire movie is about the event and only that event. We don’t get to know background information on characters or learn about their lives back home. In films such as Saving Private Ryan, or The Hurt Locker, we get to know about their lives or their loved ones, when it’s also important to the plot. But with Dunkirk, we don’t get that experience. However, for this film, it works. The fact that Nolan doesn’t go into depth with his characters is pivotal as it lets the film focus on conveying it one and only message; “War is Hell.”
Overall Grade: A+