Sunday, July 30, 2017


Saturday afternoon I went with my friends to see Dunkirk. I didn't have an overwhelming desire to see this film, but Suzi asked and I like most of the people involved with the film - notably Mark Rylance and Cillian Murphy (I joked that it was actually Harry Styles). I also generally like Christopher Nolan films.

The film, obviously, tells the story of the evacuation of British and French troops from Dunkirk, where the troops were cornered and stranded in the early days of WWII. The film drops in on the troops, telling the story from one week on the beach, one day on a little ship that answered the call to rescue, and one hour of an RAF pilot, without any backstory. Mos of the characters weren't even given names (in the credits, Cillian Murphy's character is "Shivering Soldier") and it actually worked really well. Not that I don't love a good character-study against the backdrop of war a-la Spielberg's masterful Saving Private Ryan, but with Dunkirk Nolan found a way to make a war film that is touching without backstory.

Even though we don't know the soldiers' names it's easy to care about them. We feel their desperation, their sadness, their fight to want to survive. The actors are all up to the task, but Hans Zimmer's score assists. It's restrained and bombastic at just the right moments. When the little boats start arriving at Dunkirk and the troops start to cheer and the music swells it was perfect; I got rather emotional.

It's a great film that I recommend. It's not a bloody, violent war film, so if that turns you off then this is the perfect film for you.



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