Five Reasons to See Dunkirk
Christopher Nolan’s latest film Dunkirk was released months ago, yet it's quickly becoming one of 2017's most buzzed-about movies heading into the awards season. If you haven’t seen Dunkirk yet, we can’t recommend it enough. While it’s an admittedly harrowing experience, it’s worth seeing to fully absorb and enjoy this piece of really masterful film-making that's sure to garner plenty of awards recognition.
We’ve put together a list of 5 reasons to watch Dunkirk, whether it's in a theatre or at home, because we seriously love this one. Dunkirk is now playing in Cineplex theatres, and is available to rent or own on the Cineplex Store.
Longtime collaborators Hans Zimmer and Christopher Nolan aren’t letting up at all on this one. Dunkirk’s score is one of the main technical elements that jumps out right away, since it’s one of the main devices Nolan uses to amp up the tension. Largely composed around the ever-quickening tick of a clock, it had us on the edge of our seats the entire time and didn’t leave any breathing room. This is a score in the same vein as Inception and Interstellar, and who could forget those? There’s actually very little dialogue in the film, so the pounding music often stands in for dialogue in scenes where words just aren’t necessary.
The Historical Accuracy
Since it’s based on a true historical event, the outcome of the film really isn’t meant to be a surprise. But Dunkirk still blew us away with its depiction of actual facts; sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. Nolan is known for being a stickler for the details, and his first foray into historical drama seems to have been the perfect outlet for his perfectionism. Every aspect, from the costumes to the fighter planes to the way the characters speak, puts you directly on Dunkirk beach in WW2. There’s no playing fast and loose with the details here, and it makes the film all the better for it.
The Action Sequences
Dunkirk takes place on the land, in the sky, and in the sea, and each scene is more nerve-shredding than the last. Whether we’re watching young soldiers dive for cover on the beach, fighter pilots locked in a do-or-die dogfight (with limited fuel), or a civilian boat braving the high seas to rescue troops, we’re in a perpetual state of armrest gripping and jaw clenching. Every “location” has some shockingly immersive POV shots that put the audience directly in the action, and essentially right in the line of fire. One thing you should know about Dunkirk is that it’s LOUD, and you will most definitely have a few jump-out-of-your-skin moments when Tom Hardy gets a little trigger happy with the RAF machine guns. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
That Profound Christopher Nolan Feeling
Nolan’s movies are known for their profound themes, and Dunkirk is no exception. Tackling the futility and frustration of war, while also highlighting the nature of sacrifice and teamwork, Nolan manages to capture all the messy, complicated aspects of war without feeling forced or unrealistic. We always find ourselves feeling very small by the end of a Christopher Nolan movie (none more so than Interstellar) and Dunkirk certainly delivered on that front. Maybe it’s the staggering figure of men who died during the battle of Dunkirk (out of 400,000, only 330,000 were rescued), or maybe it’s Hoyte Van Hoytema’s stunning cinematography, but we found ourselves thinking about life on a bigger scale by the end.
The Exceptional Young Cast
While there are some well-known names in Dunkirk (Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, and Tom Hardy all play roles), the film largely features young, relatively unknown actors in pivotal roles. Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard, Barry Keoghan, and Tom Glynn-Carney all play young men whose lives are forever altered by the events of Dunkirk. Of course, we would be very amiss if we wrote an entire Dunkirk article without mentioning Harry Styles, so we’ll mention him: there’s no sign of his boy-band past in his character here, and he does an excellent job alongside the other young soldiers. While the familiar faces of the seasoned adult characters are sympathetic, it’s the youngest characters that we really invest in.