Endure an epic journey to fight the ultimate battle.
It has little dialogue and puts the situation as one you experience with the characters. It is meant to be a journey that challenges film making. Could this be Christopher Nolan's best movie to date? It has an original take on a story we know only too well, such as the Steven Spielberg classic Saving Private Ryan.
"It places you so absolutely in the situation of conflict — you don't learn the details of characters' backstories or even their surnames, you just see how this group reacts in this situation, make it a nail-biting encounter," Branagh explained to The Hollywood Reporter on the black carpet at AMC Lincoln Square in New York. "He wanted it to be an experiential 'fight or flight' test, and it's unrelenting in its engagement and doesn't let the audience off the hook. You're invited in to experience it as they're experiencing it — as in, with not enough time to think or process things."
Dunkirk hits the water with Mark Rylance as a small boat owner crossing the channel, flies with a Spitfire pilot (Tom Hardy) dogfighting German Messerschmitt planes and dodges bombardments on the beach through the eyes of young soldier Tommy (20-year-old newcomer Fionn Whitehead).
"It's terrifying. I cannot imagine anything worse than being thrust into the situation these guys were thrown into," says Nolan in his office on the Warner Bros. lot. "The survival instinct is just pretty remarkable."
2nd P: STATS
Christopher Nolan's latest is sitting pretty at a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of this writing (here's our own decidedly positive review). And while it's received close to no negative criticism on a cinematic or storytelling level, it has — as is inevitable for any "based on a true story" film — been criticized on the basis of historical accuracy. In this particular case, the aggrieved party is the country of France.
Dunkirk arrived stateside on Tuesday night, with Christopher Nolan, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Harry Styles and Fionn Whitehead in tow at the Warner Bros. film's U.S. premiere.While the actors' favorite (pre-Dunkirk) war movies range from the Steven Spielberg classic to Saving Private Ryan to last year's foreign Oscar nominee Land of Mine — they all applauded Nolan for making "something that captures the chaos and panic of warfare," said newcomer Whitehead. The critically-acclaimed WWII drama, out Friday, centers on the British military evacuation of the titular French city in 1940, one of the biggest battles.
Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II. In May 1940, Germany advanced into France, trapping Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk. Under air and ground cover from British and French forces, troops were slowly and methodically evacuated from the beach using every serviceable naval and civilian vessel that could be found. At the end of this heroic mission, 330,000 French, British, Belgian and Dutch soldiers were safely evacuated.
The result of Nolan's long journey is Dunkirk, the Dark Knight trilogy director's audaciously ambitious foray into real battle with epic scope. Nolan produced, directed and wrote the screenplay that follows three viewpoints during the bleak days when 400,000 troops were pinned down on French beaches before being miraculously evacuated.
Collins: "He's on me."
Farrier: "I'm on him."
This looks like a very good movie for historical war movies, but it could also be made for the notoriously dry British taste. See people dig that, I am reserving my opinion until after I see it. If you are looking for a Blockbuster Action movie for the summer, this might be your ticket to hop on a non-stop thrill-ride. Comes out on Friday, July 21st.
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Dan Victor is editor in chief of Popdust and producer of Popdust Presents. He is also a music producer, bassist for Low Profile (live hip hop) & The Coldpress (indie rap) and front-man for Ductape Halo (indie rock). Follow on Youtube.
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Official DUNKIRK Trailer on Youtube: