I have always been a fan of war films, especially those that have a unique way of capturing the war. Christopher Nolan has given us one of the most beautifully shot war films of the past decade. He is a master filmmaker and he has such an incredible vision for his films. Dunkirk, shot in 70mm is breathtaking. I audibly said, “Wow” about 8 times while watching it. The cinematography was beautiful and it had such rich texture that enhanced the visuals on screen.
At first, I wasn’t a fan of the way he structured the film. It was a bit confusing towards the middle but then I understood why he did it. Nolan enjoys playing with these grand concepts such as, memories, dreams and time. Time was a major factor in Dunkirk and the structure had depth. The film felt like it was an endless time loop of destruction and hope. Nolan knows how to create suspense in such subtle ways that I held my breath for the majority of the film.
What made the film even greater was the exceptional score by the one and only Hans Zimmer. He incorporated the concept of time and the ticking of the clock in his compositions. Sometimes you could faintly hear the ticking and other times it was just the rhythm striking the same sound. I really loved this score and I thought it complimented the film extremely well.
Nolan picked a wonderful cast to collaborate with! I felt that Mark Rylance was the standout in this film and Cillian Murphy’s performance was heartbreaking. I rather enjoyed the minimal dialogue because there really isn’t much you can say when you’re trying to survive. For example, Tom Hardy had about 10 lines and all his emotions were expressed in his eyes. Fionn Whitehead and Aneurin Barnard had a lovely chemistry and really carried the heart of the film. Kenneth Branagh was lovely as usual and Barry Keoghan broke my heart.
The only problem I had with this cast was the casting of Harry Styles. Yes, he had a good performance and he fit right in with the rest of them but I didn’t see a character, I only saw Harry as himself trying to act. It was distracting for me to have him there because it literally could have been any other British actor and it wouldn’t have mattered.
All in all, I would say that Dunkirk is a lovely addition to Christopher Nolan’s incredible filmography and it is a masterpiece on its own.