Nolan’s Dunkirk follows a nonlinear storyline as it tries to deliver a war-story with a music that keeps you on edge a brilliant cinematography. And it does. However, with the absence of a central character in the story your itch to root for one character, like every other Nolan movie, remains unfulfilled. But perhaps, that was the intended tone Nolan wanted to give Dunkirk.
To make heroes out of the spirit of survival. In a movie bereft of one-liner masterpieces, when one soldier upon returning home explains, ‘All we did was survive’ ‘And that’s enough’ pat comes the reply.
Dunkirk transports you to the hauntingly beautiful war-torn French beach-town where 400,000 soldiers are stuck on the beach; trying to find their way back home while the Germans make sure to not let them drop their guard even once. Dunkirk is about the rescue, about the spirit of the people in times of war, the casualties that war brings with it.
Like every other Nolan movie, your attention to the screen is critical, not that you’ll be able to take eyes off, in following the non-linear storyline.
While there are character bits like the Air Force pilot in Tom Hardy, the makeshift rescue boat captain, the soldiers stuck on the island; each being true to their character, as an audience your investment in their character is limited. And that’s the only drawback from the movie. You appreciate how people understand each other without speaking. You see how war and calamity change people.
Dunkirk’s take on war is a listing of all possible reasons how war changes people, brings out the worst and the best in them. The questioning your own survival and the perceived notions of having failed your country, and yet being the hope of your countrymen even after you return after you lose.
It definitely is not Nolan’s best film, as some of the critics have been saying, but is one good war movie that you need to watch.
As far as ratings are concerned, I’m going with a 3.5/5 for Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. Watch it on the big screen. It’s a visual masterpiece where you’re left asking for more and yet you’ll love what you get.