HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
First Man
Machete Maidens Unleashed!
Cannibal Club, The
Grasshopper, The
Searching
Human Desire
Climax
Stiff Upper Lips
American Animals
Outlaws
Venom
World on a Wire
Velvet Buzzsaw
Picnic
Dick Dickman, PI
Hunter Killer
30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, The
Race for the Yankee Zephyr
Boys in the Band, The
Brainscan
T-Men
Blame
Upgrade
Evening with Beverly Luff Linn, An
Fear No Evil
One Cut of the Dead
Rosa Luxemburg
Disobedience
On the Job
Monsters and Men
   
 
Newest Articles
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
   
 
  Dunkirk The Victory Of The DefeatedBuy this film here.
Year: 2017
Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Fionn Whitehead, Damien Bonnard, Aneurin Barnard, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance, Tom Glyn-Carney, Tom Hardy, Jack Lowden, Will Attenborough, Kenneth Branagh, James D’Arcy, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles, Joachim ten Haaf, Bill Milner
Genre: War
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Dunkirk in 1940 is not a place a British soldier wants to be, and Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) knows that all too well as he has lost every other person in his group, having escaped the Nazi gunfire in the streets when his friends were shot down. He makes it to a wall of sandbags where the local troops are trying to hold back the tide of Germans, and through them to the beach where he hopes, as hundreds of thousands of others do, for rescue. Wandering the beach, he encounters a solider (Damien Bonnard) who seems to be burying a dead man in the sand, and though they do not speak with each other, there is an unspoken agreement to look out for one another. But the Nazis are restless...

Director and screenwriter Christopher Nolan saw his account of the famed victory snatched from the jaws of defeat become the hit of the summer of 2017, largely thanks to there being very little else of any great quality released at that time of that year, in Britain especially there was very little to choose from as would-be blockbuster after would-be blockbuster underwhelmed at the box office. It became the film to see that season, the film to have an opinion on even if you did not enjoy it, and every amateur historian was keen to measure it up against the facts of the event as they understood them, while the younger audience was keen to see pop star Harry Styles in his first dramatic role and how he carried himself.

Nolan peppered his cast with famous faces, some more recognisable than others (Tom Hardy was difficult to spot unless you knew to look out for him), but the bulk of the performances rested on the unknowns, a device to render the soldiers more anonymous in that you weren't sitting there expecting movie stars to shine in a manner all too familiar from other major productions, many of which this director had been at the helm of. The effect of this was either to allow the viewer to lose themselves in the story, broken up in typical Nolan playing with time fashion over the course of an hour and three quarters, or in the other reaction, be entirely alienated and write the film off as something they refused to engage with when it was not doing the same for them.

Nevertheless, enough audiences responded to how vividly Nolan portrayed what war would have been like to be on the ground (or in the sea, in cases here), with all the confusion and terror that involved. The main theme was not so much the triumph the operation represented, when a fleet of civilian boats were pressed into service to rescue the soldiers from the Dunkirk beach as the Nazi bombers did their best to prevent them, but more what it was like to know someone wanted to kill you, someone you did not know and could not understand what had made them so murderous other than some vague notion of duty. This impersonal justification for the slaughter was arguably the most chilling element, as the soldiers we see, none of them German, are constantly victimised by the bullets and bombs when all they want is the peace of home.

That was the strongest aspect, bolstered by some very fine cinematography capturing what was filmed with a surprising lack of CGI, Nolan preferring to shoot as realistically as possible (which did make a difference), and Hans Zimmer's near-constant score, making its way from unease to horror to finally a variation on Elgar to represent the pride Britain took in managing to save so many souls and guarantee the Second World War would not be a Nazi walkover. However, where Dunkirk fell down was in its tries at bringing home the human cost, as Nolan invented a selection of composite and fictional characters who did not really ring true and smacked of plot contrivance, none more than the boy who becomes a hero by accident in a literal accident that knocks him cold; these bits were simply too convenient, and while there was plenty of research involved, taking inspiration from a few real life biographies instead of relying on invention would have been preferable. That and the final dedication misusing the word "impacted" in popular slang were regrettable and undercut the project's good intentions and other qualities, which were otherwise worthwhile.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 585 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Christopher Nolan  (1970 - )

British director specialising in dark thrillers. Made an impressive debut with the low-budget Following, but it was the time-twisting noir Memento that brought him to Hollywood's attention. 2002's Al Pacino-starrer Insomnia was a remake of a Norwegian thriller, while Batman Begins was one of 2005's biggest summer movies. The hits kept coming with magician tale The Prestige, and Batman sequel The Dark Knight was the most successful movie of Nolan's career, which he followed with ambitious sci-fi Inception and the final entry of his Batman trilogy The Dark Knight Rises. He then attempted to go as far as he could with sci-fi epic Interstellar, another huge success at the box office, which was followed by his World War II blockbuster Dunkirk.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: