Christopher Nolan. The name inspires awe and admiration. The man does his research, finds different ways to impress and baffle audiences at the same time, and comes up with masterpieces that are hard to beat. He can’t possibly go wrong with a movie, because he creates stories and visuals with concepts that are mind-blowing. It’s like he has a genre of his own. Any other movie that ventures even inches from his space is immediately called Nolan-esque. If that isn’t genius, I don’t know what is.
Dunkirk is Nolan’s attempt to impress the story upon audiences through visuals and music for most part of the movie. It’s the story of English forces stranded in Dunkirk while being gunned down upon by German Forces, and their evacuation. The story focuses on three different aspects from which this is viewed: air, land, and water.
The first half annoyed me. By the intermission, I was dropping off to sleep. Almost. A Nolan regular, Hans Zimmer, was responsible for this. The background music in the first half is tinny and mildly irritating. This, in addition to the slow pace, was a dampener for me in the first half. In Nolan’s defense, the story obviously takes time to build up and it IS the story. That is the whole point. But the music… *shakes head*
The second half, however, redeemed the movie for me. The pace picked up, emotions played out well through all the wham-bam bombings and surprisingly, the music also appealed to me. The story, not all happy, of course, evokes emotions in you that you’d be surprised to know you’re feeling. I’m not English and I felt a surge of patriotism towards the country! (No, I’m not touching the subject of colonialization.)
Fionn Whitehead does a good job as the main man, eager to get home and humanly afraid of being victim of a German bombing. Tom Hardy is Tom Hardy. His presence invoked a giddy smile – him acting with his eyes is a sight to watch out for! And when he takes off his mask! God bless you! God bless you, Tom Hardy! The surprise package, however, is Harry Styles. I expected mediocre acting from him, but was pleasantly surprised. He’s good and will probably have a good acting career, too, if he decides to keep it up. Mark Rylance, and Kenneth Branagh, veterans, are their usual amazing selves. Cillian Murphy is good as a man traumatized by the war and who wants no more of it.
Though Dunkirk starts off palely, by the time the entire story pans out, it manages to get you invested in it. Nolan being Nolan, pulled me out of the rut before I could droop off and decide that I didn’t like the movie. After watching the entire movie, my admiration for Nolan only grows, thanks to his ability to always round off a movie at a higher level from where it started.
Dunkirk might not be one of Nolan’s best work in my opinion. But it is based on true events and his depiction of them is applause-worthy, if not getting him a standing ovation.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Picture Credit: youtube.com !