To See or Not to See: Dunkirk

Director and writer Christopher Nolan has created an epic film with Dunkirk. Nolan makes the Battle of Dunkirk—a World War II event where Allied troops were trapped on a French beach thus necessitating a perilous evacuation of them by civilians and armed forces alike—a visceral experience for viewers.

Dunkirk takes place within three different timelines and three different perspectives that ultimately converge: one week at Dunkirk on land, one day at sea, and one hour in the air. On land,Commander Bolton (Kenneth Branagh) oversees thousands of soldiers. Among them is Tommy (Fionn Whitehead), a young soldier trying to escape the fighting. He encounters other nameless soldiers, but one of note is Alex (played by former boy bander Harry Styles) who is with him through almost all of it. At sea, military men and commoners have been enlisted to jettison across the channel, dodging torpedoes to help ferry soldiers away from the war-entrenched beach. Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance) is one of those men. With the help of his son (Tom Glynn-Carney), he picks up drowning soldiers (like Cillian Murphy). On air, British fighter pilots try to take down enemy planes in order to prevent them from destroying any more ships and men. Farrier (the always wonderful Tom Hardy) and Collins (Jack Lowden, who is fantastic) lead the pack.

In Dunkirk, audiences get a war movie that is not so typical. There are no rallying pep talks. There is no face to the enemy. War, in this film, is made up of countless number of nameless men; some are courageous and some are not. Most are desperate to be done with fighting. All of them want to survive.

While the shots are expansive and the storylines inevitable collusion masterfully pieced together, the real shining star is the music.With minimal dialogue to propel the story forward, composer Hans Zimmer created music to draw out the tension in every second of Dunkirk. It heightens every experience shown on screen, and it is absolutely brilliant.

Dunkirk is a powerful, emotional, and well-done war film that will have you on the edge of your seat.



★ ★ ★ ★ out of 4


Photo Credit: Warner Bros.


Taraneh has been happily living in NYC for over a decade, but originally hails from the Midwest. Enamored with books at a young age, she grew up making stories, playing make believe, and loving the musical and performing arts. She is great at binge-watching TV shows. Some current favorites: Schitt's Creek, A Court of Mist & Fury, Prince Harry, and The Magicians.

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