Films often rely on the difference between loud and quiet moments to have maximum impact on its audience. Dunkirk proves that consistency in a moment can create a far more impactful experience. As in, this film is a non stop, tension filled cinematic. experience. I have heard people complaining that it takes a while to kick off and I can tell you they are wrong. From the moment guns start firing and that clock starts ticking, my heart was pounding. The tension Nolan has managed to create here is really good. I can’t remember a moment in the cinema where I was as tense as I was throughout this film. It would probably be when Han Solo walked out to Kylo Ren on the bridge. But that was just a moment of fear of the inevitable, Dunkirk is a 1 hour 46 minute fear of the unknown thrill ride. And the fear is unknown, you are literally dropped in with these characters, don’t know anyone around you or understanding of where you are. The only thing keeping them going is survival instinct. That was amazing to see and so different from other great war films. Hans Zimmer returns with another outstanding score. However, I think unlike his other works, Dunkirk’s score works better on screen than it does just listening to it. I can listen to Inception or Interstellar’s scores anytime but right now it’s only around two tracks I can listen to. It will probably grow on me but I can’t complain when it adds so much to the film itself. My favourite thing about Dunkirk is its sound design but more specifically with its planes. The first air attack in the film exhausted me and is still my favourite part of the film. It’s a 30 second scene but had such creepy sound design and impactful cinematography that (to me) the film never reached that sense of dread again. I love it when films mess around with typical story structure and once again Nolan shows he is the master of story structure. A story told un-chronologically can be more impactful than straight forward and in Dunkirk it created the sense of confusion and frustration in the audience who would then have it in their minds when terrifying events were happening, putting us right in the middle of it. An extra shout out to the cinematography. Amazing.
Dunkirk isn’t about character but about the moment/ the event. The true story of the evacuation is what is being told, not the fake story of characters created and put into a real life disaster. Character development is not needed when the event itself and how horrible it really was is interesting and devastating enough. Having said all that, this film is (for me) just missing the Nolan spark I love in his films. I know it’s because he was telling the story the way it should be told so for that I can’t fault him but still, it was missing something. Also, I really think just a bit of blood would have made the horrors more impactful.
Dunkirk – 4.75/5