By Patrick Whyntie (Adelaide, Australia)
Flyers drift into the streets dropped from above urging the Allies to surrender after they had been absolutely decimated instead many soldiers literally wiped their ass with it.*
Let us begin with the way the story is shown by director Christopher Nolan which is simply incredible and gives way to the imagination of what was coming for the British and French army. Dunkirk gives this eerie feel to the elephant in the room; Hitler and the axis powers who are not shown on screen but leaves any viewer with some historical knowledge aware the Germans are looming over 400,000 soldiers who nervously wait hat in hand for their fate, all Hitler has to do is snap to cease the existence of Britain as we know it on the jaws of Dunkirk. Instead of taking the typical Hollywood route Nolan focuses on the evacuation, the imagery, the sheer enormity of the task at hand and leaves towering figures such as the likes of Churchill (who recently had his own terribly inaccurate biopic told for the tenth time) as merely a mention – this is a soldier’s story, a people’s story.
Hans Zimmer brings back renditions of the Dark Knight with the soundtrack piercing into your eardrums as the skies roar above with the spray of spitfire bullets hitting the Luftwaffe like rattling drums. One cannot help but feel nervous and uncomfortable with the soundtrack and in a movie depicting such a terrible event and time there is nothing more fitting.
Dunkirk makes you feel as small and helpless as every soldier felt that fateful day and effortlessly avoids pitfalls nearly every war movie makes to glorify the victory while hammering home the evil of Nazi Germany which takes away from the big picture that ALL war is evil. In war sides survive, nobody wins and seeing it depicted in ways like this goes along way for showing the humanity of one side to the other – imagine propaganda films in the early 1940’s showed a little more of that!
Right in the cockpit is how one feels during one of several intense Dogfight scenes as we are kept up close. Just as impressive is historical accuracy keeping inline with what occurred as the real heroes of the RAF fought off the Luftwaffe much further away from the beach to allow the evacuations to even be a possibility and we stay focused on the evacuation not the full scale war.
Tom Hardy who can do no wrong lately (fresh from Taboo – go see it!) is the all-star in stellar cast who once again blends in effortlessly to the picture instead of controlling it and this movies momentum builds as every actor keeps stride. As a period piece it is important a movie looks the part and aside from the colouring of the dropped leaflets Dunkirk is absolutely on point from uniform, to locations to planes all of this attention to small details will keep the harshest historians happy.
Action is directed very smartly and replaces blood and guts with that distant feel and imagination asked of the viewer again and again. Darkly mesmerising is the only way to describe in my eyes the early bombing scene as a soldier cowers on the beach as each bomb hits, bam, bam, bam, boom till a soldier disappears near him and you are left to think of the horror laying just off screen, not see it.
In closing go see this movie and when your children are of age show them movies like this and let them understand what happened all these years ago. It is hard to imagine that this really was one of the major turning points of the war and has given way for you and me to be where we are right now. No one knows exactly why Hitler chose to not annihilate the British Army and hold back for three days some even believe he wanted peace with Britain but whatever occurred many sacrifices where made at Dunkirk and it is the job of every film maker and company to do these sorts of films justice (we’re all sick of Hollywood BS) and I can gladly say this certainly was a Victory.
*historical fact leaflets dropped made good toilet paper for soldiers something we all take for granted now !
Rating: 5/5BEST QUOTES