Updated: Jun 29, 2020
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Starring Fionn Whitehead, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, and Harry Styles
Film Review by Niall Maggs
Dunkirk is the latest masterpiece by the excellent director Christopher Nolan. It tells the story of the rescue of 400,000 soldiers during the second World War, while they were stuck on the beach of Dunkirk, and couldn’t get home.
Nolan’s direction in this is excellent, structuring the story into three perspectives: the land, following the troops on the beach, the sea, with the civilians fishing boats heading toward the beach to rescue the soldiers, and the air, following Tom Hardy and two other pilots in pursuit of a German Aircraft, bombing the soldiers on the beach. This method of storytelling is extremely immersive, giving the audience three different perspectives of what that experience was like. They get a feel of what was going through the soldiers’ minds during the evacuation, and what life was really like.This results in an extremely effective and gruelling (in a good way) film.
Because this is a Nolan film, it’s obviously going to look fantastic, with expertly crafted cinematography by Hoyte Van Hoytema, that delivers to the audience a beautiful experience at the cinema, and keeps them captivated for the entire duration of the movie. They do a great job portraying life on the beach of Dunkirk in 1940.
The performances were all excellent, as always in a Nolan film, with standout portrayals from Mark Rylance as a civilian attempting to rescue soldiers, who brings out emotion and dedication to his role. Hardy as the pilot is a man of few words but conveys a deep and interesting character, through his heroic actions. Harry Styles is clearly in the limelight due to his previous fame in One Direction, but gives a surprisingly good, but short performance that proves he is quite capable of acting as well.
The score by Hans Zimmer is predictably phenomenal, that delivers a tone of dread and fear, while also being extremely suspenseful and gripping. Nolan and Zimmer are always a dream team and it is proven once again in this movie more than ever!
The script was very small, but Nolan stated that he wanted to tell the story visually, rather than through dialogue, so there isn’t much of it, but the visual aspect is impeccable, proving you don't really need a four-hour long script to create a masterpiece.
Overall, Dunkirk is an excellent war film that floors you and holds you down with emotion and non-stop destruction. It's brutally relentless and chilling but that is Dunkirk’s perfection, that gives us one of the greatest films of the year, and easily one of the best of all time.