Film review

‘Dunkirk’ just another war film?

Posted:  Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 3:30pm
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From writer and director Christopher Nolan (“Interstellar,” “Inception,” the “Dark Knight” trilogy) featuring Mark Rylance, Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, and Jack Lowden, the World War II drama “Dunkirk,” is now playing at the Harbor Theatre. The film is rated PG-13 for intense war experience and some language.

“Dunkirk” follows Tommy (Whitehead) and over 300,000 other British, French and Belgian soldiers struggling to find passage to the safety of England’s shores as German troops descend on the city. In the meantime, Mr. Dawson, a well-to-do civilian Englishman, embarks for France on his pleasure boat, along with about 500 other civilian craft, to help evacuate stranded soldiers. Finally, three British RAF pilots including Hardy and Collins are en route to Dunkirk as the only relief from the sky.

Artistically speaking, the music and soundtrack were phenomenal, the cinematography was very good, the acting superb, and the writing, as always with Nolan, was excellent. However, the film just did not add up. Maybe it’s because war is overplayed in films or maybe it’s because there is a slight disconnect between acts, but there are two silver linings – the realism from the characters and the director’s refrain from making this war all about one pretty man who defeats the odds.

This makes it difficult as to whether or not I would recommend the film. On one hand, anyone looking for a deep film who is also just plain tired of war flicks will obviously be disappointed — it is deep, but it is rife with the veracity of war. On the other hand, anyone looking for the type of action movie that forgoes the cerebral tendencies of Nolan’s genre would also want to avoid this film.

In the end, the one audience I would recommend “Dunkirk” to is the war flick-exasperated, as well as movie buffs, artists and students of the craft. As a whole, “Dunkirk” was disappointing, but the film is most definitely owed admiration in its pieces.

“Dunkirk” plays from Friday, Aug. 11 to Thursday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m., with a Sunday, Aug. 13 matinee at 2 p.m.