Sat | Nov 28, 2020

Superb Dunkirk

Published:Sunday | July 23, 2017 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy
Academy Award winner Mark Rylance in 'Dunkirk'.

Dunkirk is a movie about the 400,000 British and French soldiers trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk, France, beset on all sides by German opposition. Any attempt to escape is not treated kindly. Even standing still can be a precarious option as at any given moment, there could be a fatal encounter with the enemy.

Being trapped in a small location with an enemy that controls the land, sea, and skies sounds too incredible to be true, which is why it's the subject of Christopher Nolan's latest picture, Dunkirk.

Although set in World War II, Dunkirk doesn't adhere to the clichÈs and tropes that plague movies of this type. Typically, you expect to follow one character in particular, perhaps with a wife and child waiting at home, and watch as he and his companions struggle for survival. That method is fine, and all, but after being done so many times, it feels very old hat.

Here, there are characters in the film, but the focus is on the event itself, not their individual stories. For doing away with such cliches, I praise the movie.

However, there's a reason those cliches exist. It's a shorthand for the audience to have a genuine connection with what happens on screen. Dunkirk's biggest flaw is that it can be difficult to connect with the faces that react to the horrors of war. You get the general sense of despair, but there's a disconnect when it comes time to root for a particular character's survival.

Any flaws the movie has are entirely minor. Christopher Nolan is a visionary director as seen in his works The Dark Knight, Memento, and Inception. With Dunkirk, the director pulls away from fantasy and science fiction and makes a truly mesmerising war film.

The film is absolutely captivating from beginning to end and masterfully shot. Nolan's reliance on practical effects give Dunkirk a sense of authenticity, which is always a plus when dealing with true stories. For the sheer technical prowess alone, Dunkirk deserves to be seen on the big screen

Rating: Big Screen Watch