We all know of the immense directorial talents of Christopher Nolan, having experience his Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, The Prestige and beyond, but he may have forged his greatest film in the form of Dunkirk, a war epic that doesn’t need to rely upon graphic violence and overstated set pieces to engage its audience and present a truly remarkable story. Cinema is built for the experience and Dunkirk is one of those films that defines the very essence of cinema and the reason why all love film.
Based on true events, Dunkirk sees the unfolding of events during the Second World War as Dunkirk finds its beaches populated by 400,00 stranded Allied troops. Looking for a way back home across the Channel, the soldiers are awaiting a beacon of hope in the form of someone to come and save them, as the German forces – both air and land – are closing in.
From the very opening sequence, Dunkirk promises to be an unforgettable experience, with young soldier Ffion Whitehead running through the streets of the French town evading bullets flying left, right and centre, only to eventually reach the beach and the spanning sight of his fellow soldiers waiting for their saviour. The sheer sight is a magnificent directorial feat and hammers home not only the scale of Nolan’s work, but also the emotional punch that it packs throughout.
As the soldiers await someone to reach them and snatch them from certain doom, Nolan navigates us to the possible heroes of the day; Tom Hardy and Jack Lowden flying their way in as fighter pilots praying that fuel won’t become an issue, and Mark Rylance defying logic to head to Dunkirk in his small boat. They are great characters to throw into the mix and help to create that tension created by what is essentially a ticking time bomb that we don’t actually see. Throw in Hans Zimmer’s glorious score and the tension is heightened along with our senses and emotions.
2017 has certainly surprised us with some truly remarkable films but when it comes to the blockbuster stakes then Christopher Nolan has once again proved that he is the man to be relied upon for a cinematic experience unlike any other. Dunkirk was always going to pack an emotional punch with its true-to-life representation but in the hands of Nolan it becomes so much more. It’s packed with an insane level of tension, fascinating character and a true raw emotion seeping from every frame. This is how blockbuster cinema should be and is undoubtedly Nolan’s greatest accomplishment to date.
Dunkirk is out on Blu-ray and DVD now.