Wednesday, February 7, 2018


The story of the miraculous evacuation of Allied soldiers from Belgium, Britain, Canada and France, who were cut off and surrounded by the German army from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk between May 26th and June 4th 1940 during World War II.
This was a good look at how it must have felt to be one of the people: soldiers and officers on the beach, on the civilian rescue boat, in the RAF plane ... all with no idea of what else is going on aside from their own positions. Writer/director Christopher Nolan expects you to come to this film knowing what Dunkirk is. He doesn't care about the extraneous elements (if they can be called that). We don't get any views of British or German government or military other than anonymous planes battling to sink or save the soldiers. We get the feelings of helplessness mingled with determination that the characters all must have felt. I think Nolan achieved his goal, stated below.
"The empathy for the characters has nothing to do with their story. I did not want to go through the dialogue, tell the story of my characters... The problem is not who they are, who they pretend to be or where they come from. The only question I was interested in was: Will they get out of it? Will they be killed by the next bomb while trying to join the mole [stone pier]? Or will they be crushed by a boat while crossing?"
— Christopher Nolan
I wish Nolan had had the courage to abandon his trademark fiddling with timelines. The soldiers, the rescue boat, and the RAF pilots all had their own time frames, each beginning at different points in relation to the evacuation.  It was more confusing than anything and once I gave up trying to keep track of them (or most of the soldiers) everything got much clearer. A straightforward telling would have received a much higher rating from me. However, it was still pretty good and from Christopher Nolan that's not bad at all.

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