Dunkirk Is The First Must-See Movie Of The Summer
To call Dunkirk one of the best movie of 2017 would be an unfair statement. This year has not exactly been one in which Hollywood has given their best effort. With the exception of Logan in March, there has been little to get excited about, much less actually pay your hard earned money to see.
Dunkirk, instead, is in a class of film that would better be catalogued as a film intended for an audience appreciative of dynamic, thrilling, true-to-life experiences that remind the viewer that movies are meant to move you in relation to those on screen and the situations in which they exist. It’s meant to stir questions of what should be and what one should do.
Dunkirk didn’t offer a backstory of the characters, nor explain the “why and how” of their being. Instead, every character was captured in their exact moment. In their exact frame of mind and existence. In their exact emotion and reality. All 400,000 individuals, trapped on an island in the early days of Europe’s defense against the Nazi advance toward Great Britain through Dunkirk, France, were in a state of hopeless fear and misery. The loneliness they felt, even among being surrounded by thousands of their fellow soldiers, was transferred to the viewer, as they could nearly see home from where they stood, yet couldn’t get there.
The other half of the story, that of the civilian boat owners who were to serve as the rescuers for the British Army, was all too real and gritty. The band of men too old to fight and too young to serve, yet giving their all to make certain Hitler’s plan to finish Churchill’s defense of Britain’s borders, failed. The movie very much resembles counterparts in World War II movies, such as Saving Private Ryan, with the fervor and weightiness.
The movie’s tense build begins almost immediately and keeps the audience engaged with moments where you’re afraid to breathe. The movie is best seen in IMAX, for the sound and intense scenes of air battle. Christopher Nolan’s best film to date, the direction should have little competition with what’s been offered up so far.
While there is some difficulty understanding the film’s dialogue, due to the deep accents that are necessary in keeping the film true to life, the script is so well done and the scenes so well presented, that it doesn’t matter.
Barry Keoghan’s character, George, and Tom Glynn-Carney’s character, Peter, were exceptional as standout civilian parts aboard the boat owned by Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance). Of course, much will be made of Harry Styles, of One Direction fame, playing the part of Alex. He did so very well, as a soldier, by his own admission, doing whatever he had to do to survive and nothing more.
The blend of fighting on air, ground and sea is such a mix that you feel as if you’re drowning one minute and dying of thirst the next. The whole story comes back to the need for hope and how it can be at the tip of your fingers and still be out of reach.
Dunkirk stars Fionn Whitehead, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Dillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard Gibson, James D’Arcy and Barry Keoghan, among many others. The movie is rated PG-13 for intense action and violence. Dunkirk is now playing in theaters.