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Dunkirk Review
Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D'Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy
Christopher Nolan
Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan
Hans Zimmer
IndiaGlitz [Friday, July 21, 2017 • Tamil] Comments

Ok let’s remove Christopher Nolan’s magic of Interstellar, Inception, Batman series from our blue inked thoughts, the director’s overwhelming emotional content that trickled into all his previous movies has messed up our mind with his sheer chaotic yet brilliance. Remove him from the equation and still Dunkirk would be outstanding as a bloody good war movie, but he brings that phenomenal difference. Instead of the routine, he clubs the heart wrecking feel from Saving Private Ryan, bloodiness from The Thin red line, action from Black Hawk down. It’s like seeing together all these brilliant war movies together and shedding a tear for the armed forces, only Nolan can do that with a solid magnified viewing experience.

Nolan puts together a staggering effort to rebuild the World War II evacuation chronicle, the Dunkirk evacuation is an iconic World War II moment that has remained relatively under-explored in cinema. Until now. You can’t just make a movie like Dunkirk on your first or even relatively experienced attempt, you ought to have a sheer love for narration, that musical reflexes of cinema which told stories like Dark knight; Dunkirk is the story of evacuation yes, but it’s more of a humane touch from little known ships that set out to save their countrymen in an active war zone. Such inspiring stories need to be told on a larger scale, a soldier at war is known to fight, but a commoner’s rise to patriotism and occasion deserves an emotional approach. Nolan takes this theme into an extraordinary level, so big that it deserves to be watched in an IMAX theatre as the camera pushes the edges of the screen to the farthest it can setting a trademark for digital cinema.

Dunkirk follows an ensemble cast who play characters not just in three different places but in three different timelines. This nonlinear approach is no surprise coming from Nolan, who has a history of playing with time and viewer expectations in films ranging from Memento. Usually in Nolan’s movie, giving away spoilers does not lose its thrill because you never get it the first time and have to watch it at least twice to interpret. But Dunkirk is nothing like that, its plain simple wartime movie without the usual confusion of various pseudo terms that hardly make sense.

Young Tommy (Fionn) is the only survivor of his battalion to make it to the beach at Dunkirk. He teams up with the quiet Gibson (Aneurin) as the pair tries to board a ship back to England, less than a hundred kilometers across the channel. Along the way, they pick up Alex (Harry). As Navy Commander Bolton (Kenneth) says to Army Colonel Winnant (James), home is so close you can almost see it but can you make it, which is the question. When all hope is lost, the commander in chief puts his weight of confidence on his soldiers, pushes the confidence to the brink of escape. The theme is clear – So near yet so far. The best part about Dunkirk is that its run time is close to 2 hours and lesser, had it been a little longer it would have lost its sheen.

The enormous cast, comprising mostly unknowns yet aided by a few veterans as Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy in extended cameos, work hard to bring the horrors of war to life. Still the hard hitting fact remains that Dunkirk was a chapter in the fight for victory that centered on U-boats, mine sweepers, dive bombers and brave civilian responders in fishing boats. Nolan captures the panic of the drowning soldiers, he brings the panic, and agonizing fear right into our eyes and it’s the feel of such eleventh hour moments that bring Dunkirk to life.

Rating: 4 / 5.0

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