Fionn Whitehead in a scene from Dunkirk. Picture: Supplied
Fionn Whitehead in a scene from Dunkirk. Picture: Supplied

'Dunkirk' — another Christopher Nolan masterpiece

By Jamal Grootboom Time of article published Jul 28, 2017

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'Dunkirk' tells the story of thousands of British and Allied soldiers as they struggle to get off the beach as the enemy forces close in on them during the second World War. 

Rating: 5/5

Nolan returns to nonlinear storytelling with the opening sequence jumping to three different  and seemingly disconnected point-of-views. 

However, Nolan is able to build a puzzle from three different points and which combines in a  thought provoking film that will have you on the edge of your seat. 

READ: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Review

Nolan should really give a masterclass on how the properly write and direct tension. In 'Dunkirk', Nolan places you in the middle of the war and will have you unconsciously holding your breath with no emotional breaks in between. This film is a true masterpiece with regards to storytelling and use of cinematic elements to convey emotions and makes it feel as if the viewer is part of this warfare. 

Once again, Nolan takes cinematography and pushes it to a point where you didn’t even know it was possible to film certain scenes. He does use his signature ‘camera next to a vehicle’ trick previously used in Interstellar and here again, it creates a sense of urgency especially with the aeroplane scenes. 

The cinematography in this film is spectacular. If there is one movie you need to see in IMAX this year than 'Dunkirk' is the one. Nolan is one of a handful of directors who are able to jump between sprawling panoramic shots and then go to very tight frames seamlessly. 

He is also able to pull performances out his actors that are quite amazing. The film, for the most part, has little dialogue and the actors give Oscar worthy performances. 'Dunkirk' is a perfect example of how a film has a visual medium should be used. I wish more filmmakers would adopt the idea of “show and not tell”.

The only negative that arises comes in the appearances of former One Direction member Harry Styles. While Styles’ acting is surprisingly good especially compared to his peers who for the most part are horrible actors, I'm looking at you Rihanna and Cara Delevingne, his appearance does take you out of the film for a second. The film is still highly immersive, but if Styles wasn’t cast it would have given a more fully immersive experience. 

Christopher Nolan has yet again done the impossible by taking an overdone premise and turn it into a true masterpiece. 'Dunkirk' is up there with 'Memento' when it comes to Nolan’s discovery of work. He truly is one of best directors currently and will soon enjoy be the Spielberg of the modern era. 

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