Christopher Nolan, in his new epic Dunkirk, brings his genius to a poignant and touching subject with a class that is unparalleled in the war film genre. The fantastic line up of both seasoned and new actors could not have been chosen better. The film relies on nothing else but the emotional and raw realities of the Dunkirk evacuations, there are no fantastic special effects taking over the action and no exaggerated emotional breakdowns to sway the audience.
Everything about this film is understated and respectful, throughout I was literally on the edge of my seat and on the verge of tears. The raw quality of footage that was achieved by using 44mm film creates a realism that digital footage cannot and adds to the immersion. The separate plot lines join nicely and smoothly despite the differing times in which they take place. The story comes to a climax not once but many times throughout the film showing the audience how it is the individual story that matters as well as the overall plot. The cinematography works well with the classic film footage, the sweeping wide shots of the beaches and the action shots taken during the plane fights are not over stylised and fit with the raw quality of the film. The sound scape provided by Hans Zimmer does not disappoint, it is epic and brings the audience on an emotional journey alongside the characters. Both of the visual and oratory elements work well together to stop the lack of dialogue slow the films pace.
Nothing can prepare the audience for the incredible acting that takes place in this film, doing justice to the bravery of the men being portrayed. The young talent featured such as Fion Whitehead, Anurin Barnard and Harry Styles show maturity beyond their years throughout the film. Fion Whitehead as lead Tommy, a British Army Private truly earns his screen time in an almost silent role, providing an emotional backdrop the entire film that at one point brought me tears. The rest of the cast are made up of well-seasoned actors such as Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy support the young leads well throughout the film while never stealing the spotlight from them. The incredible acting alone is something I could rant and rave about all day long and for the sake of brevity I will stop here.
Having produced the film as though it were documentary and gathering historical and first-hand accounts, Nolan has not provided a Hollywood style spectacle he has instead brought the reality of war from the different perspectives to a new audience. Every single shot and scene is carefully thought out making an impact on the audience. This is not just a war film I would class this already as one of the greatest depictions of WW2 I have ever seen. This is the must see film event of the year, you will leave the cinema touched by the realism of the performances and cinematography.
A solid 5/5 if I could have given it more I would.