Christopher Nolan is so explorative, always keen of telling stories out of his comfort zone, he could well have been named Christopher Columbus. And thankfully, his explorative storytelling stretches it's distances towards his latest 'Dunkirk' as well- from the startling first scene where armies walk with papers coasting across an unsettling breeze, or the wonderstriking last scene where an army man looks upon a newspaper sheet, his face covered in dust- it's the most riveting set-pieces combination in recent times.
But fine story-telling as it is, you cannot help but just notice the lack of cohesive, concrete and coherent screenplay, which falls flat towards the first half and merely sags around the second half. It's a well-made film that's thoroughly fun as it lasts, but "gems", as they say, need more than that. A dark knight maybe (😉).
Still, watch 'Dunkirk' for experiencing a fine technical experience. You even may not notice it's flaws- I didn't, I found it faultlessly made, infact. It is a film as devastating as it is moving. From another lens though, you read those dialogue in your head, and just decide to not get settled or recommend it.
Dunkirk is unarguably one of the most technical sound films made so far, but at the same time the effect it has on you is limited. For starters, it requires its audience to have good knowledge of the infamous Dunkirk evacuation that happened towards the end of World War II, without which you cannot make complete sense of the plot. And even if you are well-versed with history, the degree of repetitive sequences, albeit beautifully crafted, is just too high to make it an epic war film. The score by Hans Zimmer is arguably the biggest character in Dunkirk, which manages to keep you hooked despite the aforementioned shortcomings. Director Christopher Nolan knows how important the score and camera work are for a film that tries to bring events happening in air, land, and sea together, which is one thing that works well for Dunkirk. There is tension throughout the 100 minutes of running time, thanks to Zimmer's ticktock tunes, and one that will make you unable to move. Performances are great since dialogue is scarce and subtle, but it still shows how talented Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, and Fionn Whitehead are. The use of numbing score and captivating shots is what hides the hollowness of the plot and what makes this an average watch at best. Director Nolan had set the bar quite too high with his past few films but Dunkirk seems to be missing the trademark. TN.
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