War

Dunkirk

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.

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Hacksaw Ridge

Mel Gibson returns with one of the most beautifully adapted acts of heroism I have ever seen. Hacksaw Ridge is possibly one of the best war films I have ever seen in my life and I was moved to tears by Andrew Garfield’s performance. The one thing I can give Mel Gibson is that he does not shy away from the brutal uninhibited violence that comes with being in the battlefield. This is such a well rounded war film that the paternalism is rooted heavily in patriotic nationalism and religious conviction.

Mel Gibson has always been a talented director and it clearly shows in this film. He made incredible choices on the battlefront and some scenes will probably stay with me for awhile. The brutality of it all really captures you, he is very blunt in showing how much of these soldiers lives are effected by any war. The story is powerful, Andrew Garfield gives a sincere emotional performance that he is perfectly suited for. Garfield has this kind gentleness that is carried in his eyes, he developed an emotional connection with the wounded soldiers and those who survived would remember him for that reason.

The main take away from this film is the power of unity, the power of compromise and the power of understanding everyone’s convictions even if you do not agree with them. We are all humans and Mel Gibson was able to incorporate many different positions that make up the constitution of America. He creates a subtext when discussing the fate of Doss in the United States army by showing how problematic their morals are when making decisions by also enforcing patriotism. This film has such great depth and so many layers that makes it a beautifully executed whole.

Lone Survivor Review 

    Lone Survivor is a film of pure, honest patriotism that Peter Berg delivers in the most natural way. This film demonstrates the act of courage not just from the American soldiers but those who are fighting in Afghanistan against these extremist groups. I cannot stress enough the importance of this film and how it conveys the fine line between who to trust and who not to trust. 
    The way this film is structured is unlike war dramas before it. The observational documentary style integrated with close knit action sequences in the field created a warlike aesthetic that can only be found in the field. It was so incredibly well done and it enhanced the simplicity of the story. Everything about this film captures the truest perception of war whether it’s the point of view of the soldier or the people living in danger amongst these extremist groups in their country. This film truly is a remarkable statement to make in order to properly depict these war zone situations. I admire what Peter Berg did with this film and he and his cast and his crew brought us the most honest war drama to date.