Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dunkirk - Movie Review (4.5/5 stars)

By: Hamza Shafique

I am not sure if I am equipped enough to review brilliance of Christopher Nolan that I have witnessed in Dunkirk. He is one guy who when gets it right takes the art of storytelling to next level. Dunkirk is that kind of a movie where the hero of the film is the direction. It’s not the screenplay, performances or production quality that will stay with you, when you will exit the cinema but it’s Christopher Nolan’s haunting style of storytelling that will leave a mark.

Dunkirk is based on an actual world war 2 event, which involved evacuation of 400,000 British and Allied forces men trapped on French beach called Dunkirk, by Germans. In the movie, you will see three protagonists (a stranded British soldier on the beach, an Airforce Pilot in the air and a civilian small boat owner coming to rescue the soldiers by sea) in different timelines from three different perspectives, part of the same event. Which makes this simple and rather grounded plot appear larger than life on the big screen. 
Usually in a war movie the main focus is on the people trapped within the war, with their ambitions, back stories and their sufferings in focus, so that audience can easily connect with them and then experience the war elements through them. But this movie is different as this is entirely an event based film with sheer focus on what went around during that event, which means audience gets to experience the situation as if they are in it themselves. To make audience connect to the plot successfully in such a way, speaks volumes about the superior craftsmanship of the director.
This form of storytelling may not appeal to all. To see three different perspectives of same event along different timelines throughout the film can be confusing at times also. But I will suggest, just let the narrative take you along and don’t think too much in the beginning, soon you will get use to of the style and confusion will be gone.


Screenplay is very well written and there is not even a single dull moment. From the very first scene you get into the war at very high note and from that time till very end you stay at the same note. All the actors have done justice to their parts. They looked real, tired, exhausted, scared all without heavy drama or dialogues. In fact, this movie is approx. 70% dialogues free and this does not mean it is only war action sequences. There are entire moments of utter silence where communication is done through eyes alone. Production quality is also very good including camera work, visual effects even the Foley sounds stand out here. Everything makes you feel like you are in a simulation ride.
Even though everything being exceptionally good, still it’s not the screenplay, production quality or performances that are the star of the show but the direction/execution of the narrative. I don’t want to give any spoilers otherwise would have mentioned few moments from the movie to explain what I mean. I did not even see a single trailer before the movie and have intentionally kept the review short and completely spoiler free so you can all enjoy it to max, just like I did.

No DC or Marvel or any big budget summer film can rival the experience, that this war movie with simple plot offers. Even though I left the cinema many hours ago, but my mind is still stuck at Dunkirk along with the soldiers, I go with 4.5 stars.
Thanks once again to Novo Cinemas UAE for the IMAX Premier invite of this film and I really appreciate their continued partnership with Dubai Desi Reviews. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to get live details from such events.

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