Written by / 7/21/2017 / No comments / , , , ,

WEEKEND REVIEW OF CHRISTOPHER NOLAN'S DUNKIRK

The First/Main Viewpoint of Three YEAR RELEASED: 2017
Not to avoid spoilers since DUNKIRK is part of history. But for all the immensity, it's still a tight character-driven film, from beginning... as a young soldier dodges German bullets on the edge of the invaded French town... to the middle... as the same kid winds up on several aerial-bombarded boats... to the end when...

So, alright, it is possible to spoil. What's important to note is exactly what kind of World World II movie it is. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, for instance, narrowed down, was a Body Count adventure: a handful of soldiers that we get to know from the start, on their way to a particular destination, being picked off, one by one, with very few survivors (Spielberg's APOCALYPSE NOW). DUNKIRK, on the other hand, is a bareknuckle Disaster Epic but with a relatively short runtime, and surprisingly enough, coming from Christopher Nolan, there isn't much dialogue at all...

Second, a small boat in the maelstrom
The visual spectacle and audio splendor is built into the very foundation (shot in IMAX without being a gimmick), hauntingly exploiting the roaring sounds of the planes during dogfights to the nightmarish clunking howl of ships going down — all the while using three specific "characters" for ongoing perspective: The first is that aforementioned British soldier, starting out in France and being knocked around like a rag-doll; a small family boat from England heading towards the formidable destruction; and the few ally fliers. These people never override the story yet are interesting enough to invest in and care about. And the triple tier device is not only edited to handoff from each other and drive the story forward, it's mostly pieced together as if taking place at the same exact moment and location (obviously symbolizing the adjoined situation).

And last but not least... Above! DUNKIRKScore: ****1/2
Without Generals or Admirals providing grimacing exposition to teach us about this particular invasion/evacuation, and only sparse moments with a Colonel (Kenneth Branagh) standing firm on a targeted pier, the frantic action is what's being fully experienced by the viewer, as if you're one of those men on the long stretch of beach, like sitting ducks waiting for the reigning terror from the skies above. And what's really interesting is you never actually see a German soldier (if you do, then don't blink), making their hellish, dominating, bombarding armory (visible planes to stealth torpedoes) the primary antagonist. Basically, putting history aside, DUNKIRK is a War Disaster Film pitting man against machine with seemingly impossible odds — while the overall suspense relies on the few desperate possibilities.
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