‘Dunkirk’ Review


dunkirk-poster-600x889I am a big fan of Christopher Nolan. The films that he writes and directs are usually different and amazing. When I found out he wanted to make his passion project, Dunkirk, I was excited. We had never seen him do a war film before and I wanted to know what kind of expertise and gravitas he would bring to a film of this nature. After seeing the first trailer, I was not very impressed but hoped the film would be more interesting. I have now seen the film, and while it’s not a terrible film, I do not think it is up to par with Christopher Nolan’s previous films. Nor do I think it is the greatest war film of all time. The film is about the evacuation of the Allied soldiers that were trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk, France during World War II. The film is also told from three perspectives and in a non-linear fashion. From the land, we follow a young British private named Tommy as he tries to escape the beaches of Dunkirk. From the air, we follow two RAF pilots, Farrier and Collins, as they take down enemy planes. And from the sea, we follow Mr. Dawson, his son Peter, and Peter’s friend George as they sail to Dunkirk to ferry soldiers home to safety. The non-linear aspect of this film was a tad confusing as you are not told when you are switching from one perspective to the next. Therefore it is hard to grasp a sense of time. I feel if it were clearer when we were switching perspectives, or if each perspective were told separately, the film would have made more sense throughout. The cinematography and use of practical effects did add a realism to this film that most war films lack. The acting was fine and there were great moments of suspense, however, there was little dialogue. I understand that aspect of the film was by design, as Nolan wanted fans to focus on the situations that the characters were in, instead of what they were saying. Yet, I felt that it backfired as I hardly cared about the characters in the film because I didn’t really get to know any of them. Towards the end some light gets shed on the motivations of a few of the characters, but nothing more. Christopher Nolan cast great actors such as Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, and Cillian Murphy to play the roles in this film. Yet, every actor I recognized felt like a glorified cameo. Another setback for me was the film’s score. I was expecting an exciting sound from the composer, Hans Zimmer, but the music was rather dull and bleak. It did appropriately reflect the situation the soldiers were in, but it didn’t really change during the heroic moments. I give Dunkirk a Normal 6/10. I’m happy Christopher Nolan tried something different, but now its time for him to get back into filming something exhilarating and fun. Perhaps something like Bond 25.



  1. […] Darkest Hour is a British biographical war drama film directed by Joe Wright and written by Anthony McCarten. The film stars Gary Oldman, Ben Mendelsohn, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James, Stephen Dillane, and Ronald Pickup. The story follows Winston Churchill during his first days as Prime Minister, while Hitler closes in on Britain during World War II. Joe Wright does a great job at directing many of the scenes in this film. He manages to both capture the feeling in the room and display everyone’s thoughts without even using words. The costume design and makeup in the film give the audience a feel for being in a WWII era Europe. Getting this right is important for any period piece. Gary Oldman is Winston Churchill in this film. It looks as if the studio went back in time and snagged Churchill from 1940 and asked him to play himself in their film. The way Oldman Oldman spoke and looked was identical to the way Churchill sounded. He may have overdone it on his mumbling, but he was still entertaining. His interaction with the other political contemporaries is interesting to see and hear. Kristin Scott Thomas is quite enjoyable as Clementine Churchill. Her role is more comical and involved than expected. Due to Churchill handling a lot of his business at home, the audience is treated to much of their interaction. She helps bring out more of the emotional side of Churchill that isn’t often seen by the public. Ben Mendelsohn is enjoyable as King George VI in a role that is more of an extended cameo. In his few scenes with Churchill and other characters, Mendelsohn manages to deliver a few laughs and heartening lines. It would be great to see an entire film about King George VI with Ben Mendelsohn in the starring role. Lily James is fine as Churchill’s personal secretary Elizabeth Layton, but her character feels very unnecessary to the plot. Due to the film focusing more on the politics of Britain during World War II, there isn’t any action. A two-hour film based on war that doesn’t show footage of the war should be able to hold its own with dialogue and drama. While Darkest Hour does have many dramatic moments, the dialogue isn’t intriguing nor engaging enough to keep the viewer’s interest, so at times the film lags and feels slow. I give Darkest Hour a Normal 6.5/10. The film serves as a suitable history lesson that would make an educational double feature with Dunkirk. […]

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