Christopher Nolan returns with his latest epic that will throw you off deck and straight into enemy filled war lines in the inspiring true-story of 300’000 plus British forces trapped on the french beaches of Dunkirk.
It is May 1940, Germany have advanced into France, trapping Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk. Under air and ground cover from British and French forces, troops are slowly and methodically evacuated from the beach using every serviceable naval and civilian vessel that could be found.
Dunkirk sets out to tell the hardship and ultimately survival of the soldiers of WWII as they began to question all hope in rescue. In this depiction, we see three very dramatic stories co-exist on screen in a very captivating fashion.
From the battleground we follow Tommy and Alex (Fionn Whitehead and Harry Styles) who are trying every breathing minute to evade capture and ultimate death as they quite literally believe that they may sink to their own depths.
Both young stars give two very powerfully deafening but silent performances throughout — with each of their own acts making you question their very fate throughout the run-time.
While they try to keep a stern outlook on the shores, by the docks Commander Bolton (Kenneth Branagh) must make the grueling decision of who evacuates first on the already overflowing ships. Branagh is a veteran of the art and his performance was truly harrowing to watch.
Our second story is taken to the skies and where we meet pilot Farrier (Tom Hardy) as he battles in the skies in some of the most profound ariel – dog fights ever put to screen. With his face masked, Hardy acts graciously with nothing else but his eyes. It is insanely powerful to watch as we truly feel the urgency and raw emotion of his character as he tries to protect all those trapped below.
The direction throughout these scene are extremely realistic as there is no high octane Michael Bay-type explosions. It is somewhat of a relief as many of the shot are in camera and visual-impressive.
Our third and final story take place on board Mr. Dawson’ (Mark Rylance) weekend vessel who has taken the call for help. Climbing abroad and not looking back we get an insight to how normal civilians made a difference in the rescue event.
Rylance proves he is one to remember and squaring up against rescued unnamed soldier (Cillian Murphy) — the pair are an absolute treat to watch on screen side by side.
Hans Zimmer’s score is in of itself its own character, giving off a tremendously tense vibe in the likes of tracks The Mole and Supermarine – Zimmer has defied his expectations and given us one of this years best score’s yet.
No other word can describe Dunkirk — but tense. The film, starts off at an incredibly fast pace and it never lets up. There is no quiet heartfelt moments between our characters. This is a very truthful depiction of war, no happy talks about home life just our characters trying to survive and it works wonderfully.
The run time for this piece is perfect as we truly were holding our breath and clenching the cinema seats to the point where we may have ripped the seams if it went on any longer.
Believe the critical response to yet another Nolan masterpiece. Dunkirk is relentless and it never gives up and relaxes. It will leave you with disturbing imagery that you won’t be able to look away from. We implore you, to see this on the biggest screen possible as it deserves nothing more.
We give Dunkirk – top marks!