Dunkirk is Christopher Norman's latest and great war film. I do have to say I enjoyed the hell out of it. When they say war is hell, we get to be right in the middle of the chaos in Dunkirk. The film is told from the crew of a handful of different people experiencing the war in different ways. We have the group pinned down on the beach at Dunkirk as the gunfire gets closer and closer with every moment, we have a couple fighter pilots doing all they can to keep the German air force at bay, we ha e civilians bringing in their own personal boats to Dunkirk in hopes of helping get the tired soldiers off the beach. It is a quite the sprawling epic. Filmed beautifully, and not pulling any punches it plunges viewers right into the middle of the chaos. Much of the film is quiet since there isn't much room for dialog when all you are trying to do is survive, but it adds too much of the tension of the battle scenes of the film. There is a great deal of confusion and chaos that is not just experienced by the soldiers, but by the audience as well. When things are exploding all around you and you don't know where, why, or what to do. It is intense.
Great performances from the cast including Tom Hardy and Harry Styles (who is only in the film briefly but does. Great job with his character. One of the things I really found interesting about this film is the chaos of war in the aftermath. When the soldiers are returning home and are being congratulated by locals and having one soldier reply, "what for? All I did was survive." Think about it. These guys don't walk home feeling like hero's they are just scared tired men and boys who are happy to be alive. There is also a strange dynamic between the men themselves. When one of the pilots who was shot down, fighting right until his plane hit the water, reunites with some of the men on the beach at the return home, they are scolded for not doing their job. The perspective of war is a real bitch. It really makes you think.
Nolan has given us a beautiful and intense war film that can easily stand beside greats like saving private Ryan, platoon, and full metal jacket. The story is gritty and chaotic and though I did walk out of the theater without being able to name many of the characters I just watched, they still left an impression on me. Like so many of the nameless soldiers in real life that are fighting right now, we don't need to know their names to appreciate their struggle. I highly recommend checking out Dunkirk this weekend. We give this film a solid A+!
Dunkirk hits theaters on Friday, July 21st.