Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Harry Styles
Age Restriction: 16 V
Genre: Action, Drama
Runtime: 1hr 46min
Release Date: 28 July 2017
Filmmakers with the ability to craft crowd-pleasing blockbusters that appease to a wide range of individuals including: critics, regular folk and Oscar voters is a rare commodity in Hollywood these days.
Film studios usually get cold feet when thought-provoking and intelligent blockbuster ideas come along. Why? Because their box office prospects are usually slim, with audiences preferring the straightforward and simplicity.
Besides Steven Spielberg; acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan – known for his highly-praised Batman trilogy – has always been able to buck this trend. Nolan's innovative non-Batman related blockbusters, including the mind-blowing Inception and the overly intelligent Interstellar had audiences flocking to theatres despite their intricate and perplexing narratives.
The point is Nolan excels in pleasing a wide range of moviegoers, including picky Oscar voters – who will no doubt one day bestow this talented filmmaker with an iconic golden statuette.
The innovative director takes an experimental approach with his latest effort, Dunkirk – a true-life based World War II action drama told from three different perspectives.
The French city of Dunkirk is under attack from the Nazis, and evacuated soldiers try their utmost to escape the city whilst attempting to survive the carnage. The second perspective focuses on Mr Dawson (Mark Rylance) – a mariner who steers his boat across the Dunkirk seas, rescuing as many fallen soldiers as he possibly can.
And finally; Nolan takes us to the sky with Tom Hardy's Royal Air Force pilot, who defends the soldiers by shooting down as many Nazi planes he and his team can possibly muster.
Well-known for his excellent focus on dialogue-heavy storytelling; Nolan ditches the wording in favour of cinematography, action and emotional resonance to move the narrative forward. And the result is an innovative blockbuster, and a one-of-a-kind war movie.
The practical effects are impressive and innovative when compared to the digital-heavy CGI used in most blockbusters nowadays. Nolan's love for breath-taking cinematography, ambience and massive scope is on full display here, making Dunkirk a film that should be experienced on the biggest possible screen (i.e. IMAX).
The filmmaker takes audiences on a thrill ride into the high-flying skies, down to the sweeping seas, and in the dark claustrophobic ships – with superlative action shots that's sure to ring alarm bells for visual effects Oscar voters.
Despite the lack of dialogue; the emotional resonance and impressive acting adds enough substance for well-developed, three-dimensional characters.
One of the soldiers is played by none other than One Direction singer Harry Styles – a casting choice initially shrouded in controversy and confusion, considering Nolan's habit of picking experienced actors.
However; Styles proves his critics wrong, delivering a praise-worthy performance despite Dunkirk being his acting debut.
The rest of the cast are impressive as well; but it's Cillian Murphy's shivering and paranoid soldier with PTSD who really steals the show.
Verdict: Christopher Nolan has done it again; crafting an innovative, excellent, eloquently shot and well-directed piece of cinema that will no doubt appease to a wide range of moviegoers.