Director: Christopher Nolan
In preparation for Oppenheimer, I’ve decided to watch another war movie by Christopher Nolan. Although these two events are unrelated directly, and only set during the same time frame, this was great preparation for another war movie almost 6 years later. In a few simple words, this movie was a great watch and was entertaining to the end.
Dunkirk is a war movie about the miracle event that happened during World War II. In this 2017 Christopher Nolan movie, the event was beautifully re-enacted, and it sported great action scenes and suspense. If you are into war movies, then this one is worth a watch.
Now, onto the actual review. This will have some slight spoilers, but since this movie is based on true events, it’s hard to say that will have spoilers since history has already happened. Anyways, consider this your spoiler warning for the movie.
When it comes to most of my reviews, I like to cover the characters of the film. However, in Dunkirk, the characters aren’t really the focus of the film. Instead, these characters are here to convey the story by focusing on certain aspects of the event. For this review, I’m going to talk about the three perspectives this movie provides.
The movie is split between three main perspectives. We first have the perspective of the soldiers on the beach of Dunkirk. Trapped by the sea, the soldiers are either waiting for a miracle to save them, or for their deaths from the enemies surrounding them. The next perspective we have is for some pilots fighting over the English Channel. With their commander shot down, a pair of soldiers fight through the skies to prevent more allied deaths. The final perspective we have is for civilian boats rushing to the beaches to save the men stranded there. For the purposes of this review, I’ll be going over each specific angle.
So, the first angle that we have is from the soldiers on the beach. I think my favourite part of this angle was how suspenseful each scene was. Right from the start, you could feel the desperation in the air as we watched our lead soldier escape back to the beach. I also enjoyed watching the friendship form between Tommy and Gibson. Even though the end of their relationship was tragic, just like all things in war, I did appreciate seeing the two form a connection.
This part of the movie also showed the debut of Harry Styles as an actor. Even though he started as a singer, his acting in this movie wasn’t half bad. In fact, I quite enjoyed his character. There was a sense of desperation and sadness in his character that I felt was perfectly conveyed. Especially at the ending of the film. Either way, this part of the movie was fun to watch. Mainly characterized by suspense and sudden noises, this part kept me on the edge of my seat.
The next angle that was featured was all in the air. Mainly following Farrier and his airtime victories, I liked how the dogfighting scenes were portrayed. Right from the start, you find out that his aircraft’s fuel gauge is broken, so in the back of my mind, I always had a feeling that he was going to run out of fuel. The real question was when, not if. Even with that, his abilities in the air were spectacular. When shifting the camera angle to the side shot, it really felt like we were in the air with the pilots. You really felt the impact of each shot in the air. I also liked the scene where Collins is trying to escape his fighter after he lands in the water. The desperation in his actions gave a great sense of urgency and suspense. Either way, this section was also fun to watch for its amazing air fights.
The final section with the boats was probably my least favourite part of the movie, but it does provide a very important balance to the movie. With the boat scenes, it provides a calmer aspect to the constant suspense and action. Now, this section does have some merit as well. I really appreciate the relation between Peter, George, and the soldier they rescue. I liked how innocent George was during the whole movie, and how that impacts his actions while at sea. I also liked how Peter acts with the rescued soldier. His later actions does show his maturity considering the events that happen. Either way, this part of the movie provided some great relief from the tension and suspense the other sections give.
Overall, I think Dunkirk was a very good war movie. Now, it might be a biased since I enjoy war movies, but seeing a re-enactment of a miracle that happened in World War II was quite entertaining. It also provided a great amount of suspense and tension, along with some great action. If you’re into war movies, then this one would be great for you.