DUNKIRK- 2017 WAR MOVIE FULL REVIEW

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 Image Source: Impawards.com

Hello, everyone, I hope you would have liked my earlier review on movie Baby Driver if you have not given it a read yet, please be sure to check that out. Today I am about to write a review for the movie that I was waiting to watch since its trailer rolled out last year. When a movie is directed by the critically acclaimed director like Christopher Nolan, you know that you are in for an experience & Dunkirk gives you exactly that. Based upon the famous Dunkirk evacuation of 400,000 men during World War II, the movie is an unconventional war Biography with stunning visual experience and having a great cast. Dunkirk was another treat to watch. So here I am with my full hands on review of the Movie.

MOVIE INTRODUCTION

"Dunkirk" is a 2017 war movie written co-produced and directed by Christopher Nolan. The movie stars an ensemble cast, including Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D'Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy. It is based upon the famous Dunkirk evacuation (Operation Dynamo) held during the WWII in the year 1940. The movie is distributed globally by the  Warner Bros. Pictures. It was shot entirely on IMAX 65mm and included a lot of real life effects to intensify the visual experience. The movie premiered on 13 July 2017 at the prominent Odeon Leicester Square in London, England and was released globally on 21 July 2017.

Video Source: Youtube.com

 

PLOT OF THE MOVIE

The movie is based on a disjointed narrative and follows three different perspectives (on land covering one week, at sea covering one day, and in the air covering one hour) involving a separate group of individuals and their experiences; leading up to their encounter at Dunkirk, France. The movie opens with a Text describing the situation at Dunkirk where 400,000 soldiers of the British and French army are stranded waiting to be rescued or until they die.

Image Source: IMDb.com

The first Part is described as the Mole, which covers the time period of one week on the land at Dunkirk. A group of soldiers is set out to find food and shelter in the war driven streets of Dunkirk where they are attacked by the German troops killing them all except one. Tommy (played by Fionn Whitehead ) is a young and recently recruited soldier in the British army is the only survivor among those killed by the Attack.He finds himself escaping to the beach where he sees another soldier Gibson (played by Aneurin Barnard ) who is helping another wounded soldier. Together they take the wounded man on a stretcher pretending as medics so that they can join the ship evacuating men at the beach and can save themselves. They are denied the entry on the ship but they manage to hide under a mole (the concrete structure separating the water) so that they can catch the next ship in the morning. However, that ship is attacked by the Germans and sunk in the sea, at the same time Tommy and Gibson meet Alex (played by Harry Styles) who is also trying to rescue. Commander Bolton (played by Kenneth Branagh) and Colonel Winnant (played by James D'Arcy) review the situation knowing the Germans antics; decide to rescue soldiers in small vessels instead of ships.

Image Source: IMDb.com

The second part of the movie showcases the journey at the sea.The scene begins with the Navy wanting to take control of the situation in order to rescue the soldiers stranded at the beach.Mr. Dawson (played by Mark Rylance ) along with his teenage son Peter (played by Tom Glyne-Carney) carries his own ship to the beach where he is joined by another soldier/helper George (played by Barry Keoghan) to save fellow companions at the war front.At the sea, they meet with another navy seal (played by Cillian Murphy) who is shivering and is in a state of complete fatigue. 

The rest of the Plot for this part, revolves around how the battlefield bring out the best and the worst in a soldier, How they are forced to make decsisiona dnd judge a person within split seconds. 

Image Source:IMDb.com

The third and the final part described as the Air captures the events at Dunkirk for a span of 1 hour. Three spitfire planes fly in the air to provide aerial support to the troops. The squadron Leader Pilot is accompanied by fellow pilots Farrier (played by Tom Hardy) & Collin (played by  Jack Lowden) who attack the German Forces where the leader is killed in a counter attack. To make the situation worse the Farrier's plane fuel gauge is broken and Collin's Fighter jet is shot down by the enemy and is heading straight down into the sea...

By this point, all groups come together to the waters and the Drama of the Dunkirk Evacuation unfolds...

You need to watch movie for the rest. Also do check out some special cameo appearances in the movie....

Now if read through the History books, we all know what the result was but it is not the story that holds the attention, it is the very engaging narrative, bone chilling visuals and sheer technical brilliance of the Director that brings out the Best Modern day version of WWII drama and makes it a worthwhile experience for the audience....

 

CAST OF THE MOVIE

 

Image Source: Google Images Edited by Me

Tommy played by Fionn Whitehead - A young British Army Soldier who had to continuously fight for his survival.

Gibson played by Aneurin Barnard- A French soldier who is camouflaged as a British Private only to evacuate himself from Dunkirk.

Alex played by Harry Styles- A private from British Army regiment.

Commander Bolton played by Kenneth Branagh- The Head British Commander in chief for the troops in battle and the leader for Dunkirk evacuation operation.

Colonel Winnant played by James D'Arcy- A British Army colonel assisting CommanderBolton in the evacuation.

Mr. Dawson played by Mark Rylance- A British marine and Peter's Father.

Peter played by Tom Glyne-Carney-  Mr. Dawson's son

George played by Barry Keoghan- A soldier who helps Dawson to carry out evacuation at the sea.

Farrier played by Tom Hardy- Air force Pilot who attacks the German army via airstrikes.

Officer Collins played by Jack Lowden- Another air force pilot who teams up with Farrier to attack Germans.

 

Dunkirk supports an ensemble cast including the Director's (Christopher Nolan) favorite Tom Hardy(He wears the Gas mask AGAIN in the movie How ironical !!!) and Cillian Murphy both performing well in their respective roles, especially Murphy's portrayal of a shell shocked soldier deserves some clapping. The lead protagonist of the movie played by the debutant Fionn Whitehead definitely stamps his authority into Hollywood and ends up giving a memorable performance. Harry styles (You might know him from the famous Pop Band One Direction) also making his acting debut, looked settled into his role and surprised everybody with his on screen skills. Kenneth Branagh's portrayal of Commander Bolon is the main fulcrum in the movie and his character highlights the true horrors faced by an Army Chief in a war zone. Nolan is known for visual aesthetics in his films (If you don't believe then watch Inception and Interstellar)and with actors like  Aneurin Barnard, and Mark Rylance, you can actually see the Directors talent being glorified on screen.

 

DUNKIRK EVACUATION-THE ACTUAL EVENT- (26th May- 4th June 1940)

During WWII (Second World War) in May 1940 the Allied forces were heavily defeated by the German Army. A close to about 40000 soldiers comprising for French, British, Dutch and Belgian troops were actually trapped in the port of Dunkirk in France.The British Commandment decided to evacuate the men via sea route amidst the famous Battle of Dunkirk initially believing that the evacuation may not be possible.However, on 4th June 1940, they were able to pull off a miracle in spite of their naval forces being consistently under the attack of Germans.

Image Source: Wikipedia.com

There were 3 major routes were chosen for evacuation with the shortest being that of 65 KM and the longest one covering approx. 191 km Nautical miles. Several British big anti aircraft ships were used with HMS Calcutta & 39 destroyers being the major ones.There were other small ships who had local sailors and fishermen with a nonnaval background also played a major part during the evacuation.

FILM ACCURACY WITH HISTORY

Christopher Nolan during the shoot of the movie- Image Source: IMDb.com

Nolan has given a very realistic representation of the Historical event.However, the characters and storyline in the movie are fiction. Kenneth Branagh's character of Commander Bolton is an amalgamation of several important dignitaries of the Brish Army during 1940. Also, the aircraft's and the ships that were used in the movie, do actually resemble the basic physical & mechanical structure as that of their ancient predecessors however the color schemes used for the carriers were slightly different than the originals used during the time of war.

"We have fictional characters with fictional names; we're not trying to tell anyone's story here.But the bigger movements portrayed are accurate.Fiction frees you to be able to convey to the audience the greater truth of something. Which is why you end up wanting to combine characters or invent characters." 

Christopher Nolan describing the Historical Accuracy of the film in an Interview with USA Today 

 

FINAL VERDICT

Image Source: IMDb.com

Watching a Nolan movie, you know that you have a visual treat ahead of you and Dunkirk delivers exactly that.The atmospheric ambiance appended with gripping audio gives you an actual feel of a war front. I personally am a big fan of War Drama movies and with this movie, you get an experience of actually being part of history.The nonlinear narration put together in form of short character based stories gives the movie

" A Perfect Nolan Touch" 

** Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian awarded the film five out of five and called it Nolan's best to date, saying: "Nolan surrounds his audience with chaos and horror from the outset, and amazing images and dazzlingly accomplished set pieces on a huge 70mm screen, particularly the pontoon crammed with soldiers extending into the churning sea, exposed to enemy aircraft".

** Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter also lauded the film, calling it "an impressionist masterpiece" and writing: "Although the film is deeply moving at unexpected moments, it's not due to any manufactured sentimentality or false heroics.

**  Manohla Dargis of The New York Times described the film as a "tour de force of cinematic craft and technique" while she lauded Nolan's elastic approach to narrative as "beautiful"

Information Source: Wikipedia.com

It is not a movie that would be liked by all (a lot of people do not tend to like biographies or historical dramas) but you just comfort yourself in front of the screen, with an empty mindset and you will end up feeling courageous, brave and with heaps of praises for the art of wonderful filmmaking.

Let's face it the only case you will not like the movie if you are Out and Out a Nazi Fan......:):)

Hope you would have liked the review, and if not 100% I believe I might have convinced you at least 70% to add this movie to your watchlist. But before I leave here is an interesting Fact about the movie and some behind the scene footage.

Christopher Nolan has captured the majority of Dunkirk with IMAX’s extremely high-resolution 2D film cameras to deliver IMAX audiences greater scope and breathtaking image quality. Exclusively in IMAX® theatres, these sequences will expand vertically to fill the entire IMAX screen and show audiences up to 40% more of the image.

Information Source: Imax.com/Dunkirk

Video Source: Youtube.com

Until next time Enjoy the day and Peace out Guyz....

 



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