the fresh films reviews

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Dunkirk (2017)

Christopher Nolan
United Kingdom / USA / France / Netherlands
106 minutes
Emma Thomas
Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan

Cast includes:

Tommy, British Army private Fionn Whitehead
Peter, Mr. Dawson's son Tom Glynn-Carney
Collins, Royal Air Force Spitfire pilot Jack Lowden
Alex, Highlanders private Harry Styles
Gibson Aneurin Barnard
Colonel Winnant James D'Arcy
George Mills Barry Keoghan
Commander Bolton Kenneth Branagh
Shivering Soldier Cillian Murphy
Mr. Dawson Mark Rylance
Farrier, Royal Air Force Spitfire pilot Tom Hardy



In Dunkirk, virtuoso director Christopher Nolan throws us straight into the action as hordes of desperate British soldiers try to get onboard a ship to take them back to Great Britain and escape the approaching Germans who have cornered them in the town of Dunkirk in the North of France. It's 1940, and the German forces are about to complete their conquest of the north-western part of continental Europe.

Having watched another of this season's award favourites, Darkest Hour, about Winston Churchill's first days as Prime Minister of the UK in the early days of WWII, it is particularly interesting to see Nolan's out-and-out war movie take on the battle of Dunkirk (watching either film first will work). Nolan willingly sacrifices dramaturgy and character-development for realism and an authentic representation of the randomness of war. His film is basically 106 minutes of climax, with a constant suspense-curve in which the noise and chaos of war comes to the forefront and in which individuality is subordinate as it by default is in war. This fascinating basis sets Dunkirk apart and gives it an undeniable and irresistible edge, even if the cost is a reduced emotional impact, as anyone familiar with the concept of narration would know. That doesn't mean that the film is non-narrative, however, because out of the chaos come three main plot-lines which Nolan alternates between following. Dialogue is scarce, but weighty. Glimpses of hope are rare, but ever so welcome. And the impact is one of combined horror and awe.

The film is a homage to those countless young, brave and largely unknowing men who fought that war for us all. Among Dunkirk's many achievements, the technical ones may be the most impressive. And Hans Zimmer's uncharacteristic, intense score help elevate Nolan images from beautiful to haunting.

Copyright 28.01.2018 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang