Monday, July 24, 2017
British soldiers are bombarded with leaflets urging surrender courtesy of the advancing enemy in a small town in France in 1940. The gunfire begins and they run like hell. All are cut down except one who with the help of French defenders backed up to what turns to be the English Channel. This is the beginning of Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk and it only gets increasingly tense from there.
Now most people know the ending of this historic event of World War 2 but nonetheless this movie is breathtakingly tense. Combined with Hans Zimmer's musical score and the triangle of out of sequence stories this film will have you saying I have seen the best movie of 2017 and I'm not sure anything will overtake it.
The dialogue is almost non existent and when someone does speak the words are often overshadowed by the noise of dive bombers and explosions and the chaos of warfare. But I tell you that you will feel it and know exactly what is going on.
300,000 British and French soldiers are trapped on the beach of Dunkirk as the advancing Germans threaten to wipe the entire British Army out of the war. The British naval vessels are too large to pick anyone up, the Germans are picking them off from the air and their only hope is to have civilians sail over from Britain in their pleasure crafts to evacuate the trapped soldiers.
Mark Rylance plays an older man who takes his sons and heads for France to so his part. This is one story. Picking up a shell shocked Brit along the way only contributes to the difficulty of this mission.
Tom Hardy flies his Spitfire into action to take on the German bombers and fighter planes that are sinking ships and killing men on the beach. Hardy has only a limited amount of fuel and one mate to take on the Germans. The ticking clock in the soundtrack that hits you whenever the Spitfire is onscreen only adds to the edge of your seat tenseness.
And will newcomer Fionn Whitehead and his mates, including Harry Styles, survive sinking ships and increasing paranoia to get home?
This is great moviemaking. Nolan has done this kind of time warp stuff before with Inception and Interstellar but this time it seems so real because it was. I could be persuaded this is Nolan's best effort and I idolize Inception.
Look, there a few directors that hit a home run everytime. Fincher, Bigelow, and Nolan seem to do that. Dunkirk is a fantastic movie pure and simple.
I can imagine this film winning an Oscar without one acting nomination. The film itself is the star. Kudos to Nolan for that.