Dunkirk- A gritty and realistic look at World War II events.

Posted on 10 August 2017
By Roisin Gordon
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Christopher Nolan has proven himself to be one of the greatest visionary directors of the 21st century giving us many films that will be seen as classics in cinematic history such as The Dark Knight and Inception.

Now he has delivered what is probably one of his greatest films Dunkirk, which shows us the struggles of the soldiers, sailors and airmen during the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940.

Of course there have been many films made about World War II events and whilst we have seen many fantastic films based on those events, Dunkirk feels very different to those film especially if you are viewing it in IMAX! It really creates the atmosphere of making you feel like you’re there with the soldiers and you really feel the room shaking and echo as if you were on the beach with them.

Nolan brilliantly shows us three different perspectives of the Dunkirk evacuation: air, land and sea. Instead of showing us one soldier’s story throughout the film, we see the various individuals who are doing all they can to fight for their country and the struggles they face along the way.

The production design is incredible, it must have taken up much of the budget to create such an authentic look. Nolan made the clever decision not to make it a special effects heavy film and instead gives us a very realistic set of the wartime that doesn’t try to gloss over the more darker aspects of the war.

There are many highlights throughout the film that will leave an impact on you, but one moment really stands out as to how much the war affected those in the midst of it all. They show us the conflict between a young soldier (Cillian Murphy, TV’s Peaky Blinders) suffering from PTSD due the circumstances he’s been through, and a sailor (Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies) who takes him in during his voyage to Dunkirk to help the soldiers.

The soldier pleads with the sailor to return to England instead of travelling to Dunkirk, so that he doesn’t have to face it all again. His actions in trying to persuade him, leaves some devastating consequences for a young schoolboy who has tagged along with them to help. This was a really powerful moment in the film, as it showed us the horrific outcomes of what these soldiers went through and the ways it affected them.

We are treated to fantastic performances by some of our best British actors, ranging from acclaimed experienced actors such as Kenneth Branagah and Mark Rylance, raw current talent such as Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy and rising young stars Fionn Whitehead and Barry Keoghan.

Let’s not forget to mention the elephant in the room- the casting of Harry Styles- the decision for Nolan to include the One Direction star seemed like a bit of a strange choice for this film, but Styles proved to be a decent actor amongst some of the best British talent and manages to handle his scenes really well.

The film isn’t heavy with dialogue, but instead really focuses on the actor's expressions and
emotions towards the action that’s happening around them, allowing them to create the right
tension for those scenes.

Without a doubt one of Nolan’s best films to date, this is one film you can’t miss this year!