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Evacuation of Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbor of Dunkirk, France, between May 26- June 04, 1940, during Battle of France in World War II. Written by
A short review with a longer explanation of why its OK that this movie didn't have any "characters"
Dunkirk is, in my opinion, yet another masterpiece from mastermind Christopher Nolan. Since everything that is brilliant about the film has already been said I will briefly write what I think of the film and also touch on a topic that some people are criticizing the movie for.
The fantastically directed film is told from 3 perspectives non chronologically. It superbly tackles the narrative and the non linear story doesn't at all pull you away from the intensity of the events happening on screen that don't stop from 00:00 to the last scene. Hans Zimmer most likely gives one of the most fitting scores for a war film ever. Sometimes there is only one note playing followed by heartbeat sounds and a ticking clock while other times a massive orchestra is interpreting what is going on on screen. The movie brilliantly projects the feeling of each and every soldier on the beach to the audience. Confusion, turmoil and fear. The cinematography was breathtaking and I felt anxious throughout most of the run time. There is no lead in this film and I can't really say anyone stuck out as giving a brilliant performance because it wasn't needed and I'll explain why.
The biggest criticisms of Dunkirk that I've heard of so far are that the characters are lacking in depth and that we aren't given anything to be invested in them. I feel like Nolan was trying (successfully) to make the audience care for each and every one of the men on the beach. He needed to have some form of "main characters" to be in the story so that we can see the events unfold from the direct perspective of all of the soldiers. Usually in war films (I'll use saving private Ryan as an example) the plot revolves around certain soldiers (like Cpt. Miller and Ryan) being in a war and doing things in the war but its still about THEM not THE WAR as much. In my opinion Dunkirk is a telling the STORY OF DUNKIRK. Not of Harry Style's character or Tom Hardy's character but of Dunkirk. What any of the "main characters" felt, every other soldier felt. Nolan resorted more to film-making techniques to tell the story rather than dialogue and that is why some people might have had a problem with the lack of character depth but realistically this type of terrible event wouldn't be a place for someone to "develop" as a character but rather a event where MEN WANTED ONLY SURVIVAL, and Nolan showed that perfectly. As for what the top review of Dunkirk on IMDb says about 'lack of emotion' in the film, I believe this to be a completely incorrect statement. Maybe he was referring to the lack of 'brotherhood amongst men' or the feeling of moral or something epic like that. Again the longing for the 'Saving Private Ryan' format of war films. What the reviewer fails to see is that realistically there was NO emotion on that beach besides fear and confusion. And I can safely say that Nolan and Zimmer and the DP all successfully gave us those feelings.
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