Dunkirk –  Movie Review

Yes, I will admit that I saw this movie for Harry Styles but I stayed for the stellar performance and visuals.

Set in the time of World War two, Dunkirk is a thriller which keeps you captivated till the very last scene. The movie is about how the Germans have trapped three hundred thousand soldiers on the beach of Dunkirk, who can only hope for a miracle to save them. Many people think that this is just another war film but it is actually a lot more than what appears to the eye. The film celebrates the spirit of the people of England and their ‘never say die’ attitude. It makes the feelings of hope, empathy and compassion rise within you and is also a tear jerker for many. 

Another Christopher Nolan’s piece of art, the movie stars an ensemble cast and is narrated through different experiences of different soldiers. The names of the soldiers and commanders hardly surface throughout the film making sure that we refer to them as a unit or a whole. All the soldiers just have one aim which is escaping the beach and reaching home (England) without being ambushed by the Germans. 

The story is told in three parallel backgrounds. We are introduced to the soldiers on the beach who are struggling to escape. Then we are introduced to civilians who come to aid the soldiers through oceans and finally we are shown the pilots in the air who are fighting the German fighter planes. One interesting fact about this is that each background is shown in accordance to time. That means that the beach scenes are the most followed by the boats in the sea and lastly the planes in the air. The director tries to show us the correct proportions of time in every background which gives us a proper understanding of the story. 

Colours also have a huge role in the film. Almost every scene on the beach has a black and blue colour setting. This gives us the feelings of darkness, depression and gloominess which is exactly the atmosphere on the beach. The soldiers are sad, tense and depressed regarding their fate. Towards the end, the colours and light changes. Finally, the dull blue is replaced by a cheery orange that symbolises hope and spirit. 

Another important point about the film is that even though there are many actors the use of dialogues is very less. The director wants us to feel the emotions without telling us what we should feel. Also, the word ‘German’ is never used in the movie. They were always referred to as ‘enemy’ and were not even shown. The director only wanted to show us the story from the perspective of the British and French soldiers and their efforts. 

Throughout the movie, we feel a lot of different emotions. We feel frustrated and annoyed that every time the soldiers try to escape the beach, they are stopped by the Germans. We feel sad and hopeless whenever we see the plight of the soldiers, especially the injured ones. We start panicking when we see that they are in danger but we also have hope that they will be rescued. This is important to note as the movie makes us feel the same emotions as the soldiers who are at Dunkirk. We are placed in their shoes as we experience all their emotions. 

Thus, the movie is successful in its mission which is making the audience feel the turmoil and desperation in the minds of the soldiers. It is a very intense and heavy movie which keeps you in a grave and sombre mood for quite a while. The only part that angers me is that all the soldiers shown stranded on the island are of British descent or Caucasian- factually incorrect since Britain had colonies all over the world thus Indian, Jamaican, African, etc soldiers should have been represented as they too were part of the British army. I really enjoyed the movie but I will not be watching it again as I do not like the feelings it gives me after watching it. I think that Dunkirk is one of the best movies on war without being a war movie itself.

                                                                  Movie Poster

-Gaargi Jamkar

FY( B.Sc Economics)

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