With Dunkirk, director Christopher Nolan plunges you directly into an impassive war zone.
It is a survival film which is dramatic yet natural and it elicits an emotional response from its audience. Set during the Second World War, this film chronicles the evacuation of British soldiers who were cornered on the beaches of Dunkirk (Dunkerque) in France, in late May to early June 1940 after the Germans had driven nearly four hundred thousand men of the Allied forces, British and French soldiers, to the edge.
The narration comprises of three distinct stories intercut throughout the film giving it a holistic approach to the film. Also, the film deviates from the normal war-film techniques which usually instil some level of hope and comradery and instead chooses to focus on just the mere survival of these individuals. There is no deep explicit connection with the individual characters except that you wish for them not to die. This is possibly the weakest point of the film. The film is paced and structured carefully to emit the desired emotion with a nonlinear plot and it lets you on a path with its carefully lined up imagery. The visuals are absolutely spectacular. Cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema’s frames are brutal as he captures the strewn bodies, ballistic bombardments and raw emotions adroitly. Also, some symbolic metaphors are aesthetically mounted.The sound design is clever as the ticking sound throughout keeps you on tenterhooks and builds the suspense.