Christopher Nolan’s first film since Interstellar in 2014, Dunkirk, captures the realism and true horror of one of WWII’s most defining moments.
In 1940, German troops surrounded British and French soldiers, vehicles and artillery on the beach at Dunkirk. A small fishing town in the North of France, Dunkirk now became the focal point of the war, hinging the survival of Britain and effectively the freedom of Europe on the British Empires ability to save as much of its army as possible. Nearly 400, 000 troops trapped on a beach with nowhere to go.
Nolan’s film focuses on three separate but interconnected storylines. Firstly there is ‘The Mole’, with a time span of 1 week, meaning all the action and parts of the film taking place in this location (the beach and Mole at Dunkirk) are based within this time frame. Secondly, ‘The Sea’, with a time span of one day, and finally, ‘The Air’, with a time span of one hour.
‘The Mole’ focusses primarily on the soldiers trapped on Dunkirk beach, following the story of Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) and the soldier who doesn’t speak. It shows their struggle and deceptiveness as they try to escape the beach ahead of the thousands of other trapped soldiers. Simultaneously, ‘The Sea’ focuses on the heroism and patriotism shown by a yacht of weekend sailors as they travel across the English Channel in an attempt to rescue soldier and seamen. During the trip they encounter a number of survivors and wrecked ships, one of which is Cillian Murphy’s character. As well as this they come across the heroes of the sky, Spitfire pilots Collins and Farrier, whose storyline ‘The Air’ comes together. After having saved Collins from drowning and encountering a stricken ship with hundreds of survivors, the now men sailors continue their trip to rescue as many troops as possible…
This Nolan film focusses deeply on the heroism and patriotism shown by all the men, women and children involved in the Dunkirk evacuation, as well as the immense proudness and success seen towards these servicemen upon their return home. As Churchill said, “we shall never surrender”, this film perfectly portrays the brilliant British resolve and fighting spirit that saw the defence of freedom in the face of tyranny.
A great film, great score, great narrative and surely one that will go down in history.