Monday, August 07, 2017

Dunkirk (2017)


Dunkirk is one of those movies that is better seen in the theaters then seen later at home.  Dunkirk is a film that harkens back to great filmmaking.  Every frame of this film is a work of art.  The sound design is quite intricate and when the German Junkers dive bomb the beach you feel as though you are there.  Christopher Nolan the director of Dunkirk uses all the tricks of the trade to really make you feel that you are there at Dunkirk, and the dread that faces the troops stranded on the beach.

Nolan divides the film between the sea, the air, and the beach.  To say that there is no one character to concentrate on would be correct.  Nolan divides the screen time among various actors who do a fantastic job at conveying the dread and the fear of the early months of the war when Germany was running through Europe, and devouring all that was good.

Throughout the film we see the horrors of war, and the film begins with a bit of silence as several soldiers wander the streets of Dunkirk and are suddenly surprised by enemy troops.  Nolan never really shows us the enemy.  They are at a distance, and it makes them more scary.  We as the audience know what will happen, but how do these soldiers get away to fight another day.  Well that is Dunkirk.

In history Dunkirk was very important.  It rescued many British, Belgium, and French troops trapped at Dunkirk.  Tom Hardy plays a RAF pilot who does his duty without thought.  What he does and how he does it is a reflection of how badly the British were overwhelmed by the German blitzkrieg, yet they persevered against insurmountable odds.  Tom Hardy is almost unrecognizable in the film because he is outfitted with his airflow mask, yet he conveys everything through his actions and his eyes.  Harry Styles also does an impressive bit of acting as well.  There is little dialogue throughout the film for our characters to engage in, but there are moments where they all shine, and that's all die to Nolan's direction.

Going in to the movie I was aware of the history of the events that took place at Dunkirk, but the film brings it home, and makes it very personal, and because of that the film is better for it.

I would be remiss to mention nothing if I was not to mention the cinematography, the music, and the audio mixing of this film works all in its favor.  Nolan surrounds himself with true artists and makes the film work on so many levels.

The cinematography was by Hoyte Van Hoytema, and shooting in 70mm sure makes the screen epic.  The music is by Hans Zimmer.

Dunkirk is worth seeing in the theaters.  I saw it in 70mm, and was a bit taken back by the movies landscape.  I would suggest seeing the film in IMAX because Dunkirk is a film better seen on the big screen.

I did notice a bit of a flicker on the 70mm, yet I do not know if this was because of a technical issue or if it was normal since I was seeing the shutter on a analog projector (celluloid) and I was watching a non digital image.  I still enjoyed the film, and it never really bothered me because I was wrapped up in the film.

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