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Film Review | Dunkirk - A Rescue Extra Ordinaire

This review is so late however for me its not.  I have missed this in the theaters and its only now I watched it.  A film by Christopher Nolan, I am intrigued by the movies he megged prior to this.  The dark Batman series, Inception are among the movies he made that I loved.  Now this.

Dunkirk (Dunqerque in France) is a story set in the early part of World War II, and it featured the defeat of the British and French forces in France.  Due to the overwhelming forces of the Germans, both armies were pushed back all the way to Dunkirk for a naval retreat.  Surrounded by the Germans, their only way out was through the beach in this area.

When you read the story line, its simple.  Evacuation of the fleeing army how complicated can it be?  Based on historical records, it saved a total of 330,000+ British and 130.000+ allied soldiers.  The beach head had no proper dock to speak of, making the procedure difficult.  The beach has shallow adding to Kenneth Branagh's character's worry.  No naval ship could land and pick up from its shores, and few boats to take men from the shore to the the ship.  Enter the pleasure yachts, fishing trawlers, and small boats to the rescue. A worthy story to tell in a movie.

Now Christopher Nolan did not implore the use of Computer Graphics here.  He might have but based on many accounts, he used the real thing for the movie.  He got the airplanes flying and crashing, boats sailing and sinking some in the process.

Unlike other war movies wherein there are back stories to the characters involved, herein the director immediately immersed the viewer to the rigors and horrors of war.  When I was minutes into the frist parts of the film, I couldn't make sense of it all.  I was waiting for a scene where they explain what was happening, even when I finished it, nothing was explained or maybe there was and I missed it.  One will surely miss the explanation (if there was one) as I was immersed with the film.

I felt I was part of the film.  War is unexplainable.  All one will experience in war is the fear of death, dodging bombs and bullets, the state of panic.  No one will come up to you to explain, you will simply have to run in the face of danger.  This is what I think Christopher Nolan wants to impart in this film.

Even with scene transitions, you will feel immersed and trying to understand what the characters are going through.  There were great characters in this film and kudos to Nolan for this.  Making the film interesting until the end.  What stood out for me here are the roles taken in by Kenneth Branagh as the Naval Commander handling the evacuation.  He kept on seeing the British Side from Dunkirk and kept calling it home.  He even stayed the Mole (a breakwater of sort, a short walkway from the beach as well).  Another character that stood out for us was that of the Moonstone Yacht captain Mr Dawson (played by excellent actor Mark Rylance) and his son Peter (played by Tom Glynn Carney).  They exemplified how properly they treated a shell shocked soldier.  Another worth mentioning also is the character of Tom Hardy's Farrier.  An RAF Pilot who continued to protect the skies over the fleeing soldiers.  He continued to do so until he ran out of fuel.  Call that heroic.

Now going back to the whole immersive film, not only visually done, it also had a great sound to accompany each scene nicely.  No wonder this film also won 3 Academy Awards, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing.

This writer like watching documentary films and this one went a step further in recreating one of the great world war two events there is.  This may have been a defeat for some, but the british saw this as a success and viewed the returning soldiers as heroes.