Flash Movie Review: Dunkirk
THOUGH I had made my way to the front I was nervous by the amount of people that were filling up the train station platform. I had not reached the start of the yellow warning strip at the edge of the platform, but one big surge or push could have detrimental results for someone. Something must have happened somewhere along the route to delay the train; the information board only listed a flashing “delay” notice for this particular train line. Everyone was being squeezed together. You could only hope the person behind you was not carrying any large packages that would dig into your back. On the plus side we were not waiting on one of the above ground stations out in the freezing cold. We were standing in a subway station underneath the downtown area. AFTER what seemed an unbearable amount of time the information board listed the arrival time for the train. I knew it was going to be a challenge to get on the train, let alone get a seat. If the train was skipping stations to make up the delay the chance would be better the passenger cars were not packed. However if it was making its usual stops, by the time it reached my station, the cars could be overflowing with people. As the train finally pulled into the station I saw the cars were over half filled with passengers. I had a good chance based on where I was standing; but only if the doors of the car stopped close in front of me. Luck was with me, one of the train car’s doors stopped directly in front of me. The two people ahead of me quickly moved inside; I followed them and we manuveured to the middle of the car as best we could. The reason was the tightest fit always occurred by the doors and one would have to constantly adjust their place as people tried to exit or shove their way inside. One could not help feeling bad for the passengers who got left behind as they watched their train pull away from the station. I felt much worse for the soldiers in this dramatic action film based on true events. MILITARY forces from Belgium, France and the British Empire were surrounded by the Nazis. The only way out was by sea, where they could easily be picked off by the enemy’s firepower. Written and directed by Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight franchise, Interstellar) this historic war picture starred newcomer Fionn Whitehead as Tommy, Damien Bonnard (A Perfect Plan, Staying Vertical) as a French soldier, Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies, The Other Boleyn Girl) as Mr. Dawson and Kenneth Branagh (My Week with Marilyn, Rabbit-Proof Fence) as the commander. This movie was not only beautifully filmed; it was enhanced with the incredible musical score that played a part in building up the tense scenes. The story was incredible and I felt Christopher kept it simple because honestly the event could speak for itself. With the placement of the cameras Christopher was able to maintain a deep emotional connection to the viewing audience. I saw this movie in an enhanced theater where the seats vibrated based on the sound intensity; it added more to my experience and level of enjoyment as I felt I was part of the scenes. This was such a well done picture and though my chances of dying on that train platform were slim, I could relate somewhat to the soldiers’ plight in this courageous story.
3 ½ stars
Posted on July 24, 2017, in Drama and tagged 3 1/2 stars, action, belgium, british empire, christopher nolan, drama, france, history, kenneth branagh, mark rylance, tom hardy. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.
I went to see this movie on opening night. I thought it was an incredible piece of film making. I know several people I was with missed the varied timelines of the narrative threads but they enjoyed it as much as I did having understood the connections. I thought it was gripping and exciting and also very visceral. Full disclosure, however: one of my granddads was evacuated from Dunkirk and if may be that part of my finding it so compelling and so emotive was that this movie really helped me understand what he must have thought and felt while waiting on that beach. It’s a stunning piece of film making regardless of personal connection, however. Not without flaws but nevertheless incredible.
Laura did your grandfather share his story with you or was it handed down? Unbelievable, for I cannot imagine what it must have been like to be on the beach and still have hope. Thank you for the comments so much.
He didn’t share it in that he didn’t really ever talk about his wartime experience. He actually wasn’t a big talker generally. I only recollect him even mentioning anything personal about Dunkirk once, prompted by something on TV (maybe an anniversary?) and him talking about the terrible things he saw while waiting on the beach. That was it. My other grandad rarely discussed anything personal about his wartime experiences either, bar the odd amusing anecdote, until he was in the final years of his life. I imagine it was just too difficult for them to articulate what they’d been through.
Thank you for replying back Laura. We can only imagine what it must have been like for people of that generation who went to war.
This sounds like a fabulous film. My daughter introduced me to Christopher Nolan’s work through her advanced art film class. I’ll see if we can go see this together soon.
I certainly hope it is soon so I can hear what you two thought of it. Thanks for the comments.
Looking forward to seeing this.
Can’t wait for you to see this one. Do let me know when it happens, thank you.
Will do. My hubby isn’t a big movie goer but he is interested in this one, so it’ll be the weekend.
If you’d like to learn more about the authenticity of the film (and it was fairly authentic according to most sources) my daughter, after watching it, found several really good sites. They broke down fact from literary license. She did it through a google search.
Thank you for telling me about the fact checkers, I appreciate it.