BREATHTAKING EPICWARTALE

New Straits Times - - Entertainment -

IWAS over­whelmed with emo­tion af­ter watch­ing this mas­ter­ful war epic by Christo­pher Nolan. It’s filled with well-timed ac­tion, rous­ing mu­sic and in­cred­i­ble per­for­mances, all with very min­i­mal di­a­logue. Well-paced and struc­tured, ev­ery­thing that hap­pens in the movie has its rea­son and serves as an im­por­tant piece to a larger pic­ture.

If you like Mel Gib­son’s you’ll cer­tainly love this one. is prob­a­bly Nolan’s best work to date, com­bin­ing the well-paced struc­ture of with the beau­ti­ful lens­ing of

Some dis­like war movies due to the vi­o­lence and gore, while oth­ers don’t want to be re­minded of the atroc­i­ties of war.

has nei­ther lit­eral blood or gore and Nolan show­cases the atroc­i­ties of war through the sol­diers’ emo­tions and shock, as well as their in­cred­i­ble story of sur­vival. Based on the his­tor­i­cal evac­u­a­tion of Al­lied troops from the beaches of Dunkirk in France dur­ing WWII, it is known as the great­est mil­i­tary dis­as­ter — 400,000 trapped Bri­tish sol­diers had to be evac­u­ated af­ter they were sur­rounded by Ger­man troops.

The chaos and des­per­a­tion of th­ese sol­diers wait­ing to be res­cued is well-cap­tured in Nolan’s gritty sto­ry­telling, which shifts be­tween mul­ti­ple in­ter­weav­ing sto­ry­lines that cover the en­tire se­ries of events at Dunkirk.

Told from three per­spec­tives — land, sea and air — th­ese sto­ry­lines un­fold along dif­fer­ent time­lines, each fol­low­ing its own pace.

Pri­vate Tommy (Fionn White­head) is the only sur­vivor of his bat­tal­ion to make it to Dunkirk beach. He then meets a shell­shocked Gib­son (Aneurin Barnard) and the two meet an­other of their own, Alex (Harry Styles), as they help in­jured sol­diers to board a ship back to Eng­land.

Up in the air, air force pi­lots Far­rier (Tom Hardy) and Collins (Jack Low­den) try to de­fend the Bri­tish navy ships and sol­diers on the beach from the Ger­man Luft­waffe planes.

On the wa­ter, a civil­ian boat Moon­stone, driven by Mr Daw­son (Mark Ry­lance) and his son Peter (Tom Glynn-Car­ney) head out to Dunkirk as part of the civil­ian fleet to help bring back the stranded troops. From the sound of a clock tick­ing to en­emy planes fly­ing past the troops, the rich score from Hans Zim­mer re­in­forces a sense of ur­gency to the ac­tion.

The cast, both young and old (in­clud­ing Ken­neth Branagh and Cil­lian Mur­phy), add weight to the movie with deft per­for­mances. Cin­e­matog­ra­pher Hoyte van Hoytema (of and fame) gives the movie a pic­turesque look so watch it on an IMAX screen.

Ex­ten­sive prac­ti­cal ef­fects were used and 6,000 ex­tras were em­ployed to play the sol­diers. Ac­tual ships that par­tic­i­pated in the real evac­u­a­tion and era-ap­pro­pri­ate fighter jets were also utilised.

All th­ese re­sults in a breath­tak­ingly gor­geous film wor­thy of all the praises it re­ceives.

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