It feels like we’ve been waiting for this one for about two years now, so I was very glad to get to see this film yesterday, now it has finally come out!
I’m a big fan of Christopher Nolan and his films – if I sat down and properly thought about it, I’m sure he’ definitely have a few in my top 15 (The Prestige is there for definite – amazing film). Now I wasn’t by all means disappointed with Dunkirk, however, in my opinion, this one is not quite as good as some of Nolan’s other efforts.
Nolan really is a master of telling a story, and with the subject matter of Dunkirk, he opts to focus more on what is happening as a whole, with characters used to help this along, rather than telling a story about characters on the backdrop of Dunkirk. The film follows three threads – The Mole, The Air and The Sea, spanning across three different time timelines – a week, and hour and a day, respectively. Nolan always treats the audiences with respect and assumes we are following his story, which he again does with Dunkirk – although he does initially tell us what his plans before getting going.
Dunkirk looks epic, and it sounds epic. There is not much dialogue in this film, with the story very much being told visually, and there is no doubt that this a score crafted by the incredible Hans Zimmer. Running at slightly under two hours, it really did feel like Zimmer’s suspense building score was there throughout the whole film – which is definitely not a criticism. It bellows with the dropping of bombs and the crashing and waves, beautifully transitioning to a quieter pulse to build up even more tension. This isn’t the first time Nolan and Zimmer have worked together, and they continue to demonstrate they are an incredible duo.
This film is carried by the visual storytelling, and therefore there is not actually all that much dialogue in the film. Which is perhaps for the best, as I felt it was the films weak spot. Some of the dialogue felt clunky and didn’t quite flow – which could well be down to the fact that, despite a few big names, a number of the cast did seem to be relative unknowns. So the fact it was kept to a minimum was not necessarily a bad thing.
As this is based on true events, there is always the risk of a film like this not doing justice to the real events, however, I felt like Dunkirk did not do a bad job. It had its moments of making us feel despair, suspense, showing the cruelties and tough decisions that have to be made during a war as well as uplifting hope and triumphs. It should also be noted that nowhere is it stated this is supposed to be a historical biopic, but however, just based on the real events.
I was by no means disappointed by this film, however, in my opinion, it is not up there with Nolan’s very best. And I don’t think it necessarily helped that I have been building this film up for a very long time. That said, I did still really enjoy it – it is a very good film, and I would implore you to go and watch it. It is a very well crafted story and looks and sounds phenomenal. I didn’t see it in IMAX, but if you have the chance to I would probably recommend it, because I imagine it looks even better in that.
I’m thoroughly looking forward to what Christopher Nolan will bring us next!