Monday, August 7, 2017

Movie Review Madness - Dunkirk

Dunkirk is harrowing and memorable. Look for it on Oscar night. Director Christopher Nolan, after thorough research and a serious plan, took three approaches – Land, Sea, and Air. The film moves fluidly between these perspectives and you feel immersed in the war. There is minimal dialogue and no character backstory or superfluous nonsense. Instead we follow the main lad  (Fionn Whitehead) as he navigates Dunkirk, eager to survive. His shell-shocked look as he wanders the beach, ducking from air strikes, trying to get on an escape boat starts to bring on your anxiety.  The sheer numbers of British and French soldiers stuck on the beach was staggering. How were they going to evacuate? That’s the land issue.

On the sea, we follow Mark Rylance and his boys as they sail their private boat to Dunkirk to help. There was an armada of private ships and boats who crossed the choppy channel to come to the soldiers aid. Plenty of drama at sea. Rylance projects a quiet nobility and his sense of duty is reassuring and brave.

By air, we see Tom Hardy and another fellow in their Spitfires as they dodge the German air assault, circle, weave, and shoot. Plenty of scary moments in the air.

Back on land, a group of guys commandeer a ship that’s grounded on the beach but the tide’s coming in. Once afloat, they are feeling safer until shots ring out, they start taking on water, and the fear and scrambling will have you gasping for breath yourself. Harry Styles ( One Direction singer) shows his acting chops in this film and does a fine job. Kenneth Branaugh is the Navy commander trying to coordinate boats and ships. He projects the weary responsibility of some who’s in charge, but concerned that Dunkirk is out of control.

Nolan keeps Dunkirk tight and tidies up the story line into a taut mesmerizing film. This was quite a turn in the war for the Allies. Excellent film, tough film, and not for the faint of heart. War is hell, and I’m sure movie hell depiction is only half of it. Salute those who served – innocent young lads fighting for their country and to survive.


23 comments:

  1. Exactly my thoughts. It placed you right there in the action like no other war film. It's going to win a lot of Oscars.

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    1. Indeed. I lnew when I read your review that I was in for quite a film

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  2. I have seen older versions of the film many years ago, This is an excellent review on what appears to be a very good update.
    Yvonne.

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    1. It is war. Nothing much extra. Well done

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  3. I've been waiting for this review from you - I completely agree with you. The lack of backstory and minimal dialogue was perfect for this film.

    (PS. It's One Direction, not New Direction)

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    1. Thanks. I knew that. Duh. I will make my correction for Mr Styles- now actor too.

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  4. This is one I do hope to see on the big screen.

    Betty

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  5. Sure it will bring many an Oscar win indeed

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  6. Hi Joanne - I saw it last week ... and had written 6 years ago about this incredible piece of history, when so many non-service men got involved in the nautical rescue for our service men from Dunkirk ... then rescuing the French too ...

    Incredible score ... pulsating through, ear shattering is how I've seen it described. It's beautifully photographed ...

    ... and I love the way Nolan has broken the film into the three aspects ... one week on land, one day at sea, and one hour in the air ...

    A very informative film ... about a ghastly disastrous time, so near to defeat, by the British - rescued by the "Little Ships" ...

    Thanks for your review - and I hope many will get to see the film ... cheers Hilary

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    1. I admit I did not know enough about Dunkirk. I read up a bit before the movie. Quite a time for England. Wow

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  7. "The miracle of Dunkirk" still looms large in British history. A friend told me, just yesterday, that his father was waiting on the beach to board a boat when someone knocked him to the ground and took his place. Ten minutes later he saw the boat take a direct hit from the air and all lives were lost - about 60 men. Even today one can occasionally see a small river boat or pleasure boat that claims to have been a part of what happened at Dunkirk in 1940!
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s ridiculous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. Wow. That is quite interesting. So much is fate or karma

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  8. My husband wants to see it but he may have to go to this one alone. Doesn't sound like I would like it much, esp. if there any graphic killing/death. Is there?

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  9. A very thoughtful review, Joanne. Trying to depict war in a film must be overwhelming. This one sounds as though it's a rightful effort that keeps the viewer invested. Thank you.
    Have a great week.

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    1. Hey. Yes a lot of thought was put into this film. It shows choices to survive. Some brave, some instinct, etc. pretty overwhelming

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  10. My husband went to see this last week, but I passed on it. I'm not a fan of war movies. They exhaust me too much because I feel like I'm a part of the action. I'm sure this is a well-done movie, just not my cup of tea. Glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. I understand. It can be exhausting when you feel beseiged

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  11. Watched this while on holiday - extremely well made and hard hitting. Loved the way Nolan ended it too, very subtle.
    Three quarters of a century later young men are still dying in combat, we are so slow to learn.

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    1. Indeed. Will we ever learn? Not enough folks reflect on history

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  12. A good review. I nearly wet my pants when you said Harry Styles was in it. I'd love to see it because 'Dunkirk' is a great story and I'm surprised they haven't filmed it before now.

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