The film focuses on allied soldiers on land, sea and in the air during the advancement of the German troops into Dunkirk, trapping hundreds of thousands of troops on the beaches. They gradually become evacuated through the generous aid of dozens of naval and civilian boats that come together to aid the soldiers and take them home. It really depicts how one nation stood together against the enemy and fought to the very end to save each other.
Unlike most of Nolan’s epic running times (roughly at least 120 – 170 minutes) this one only comes in at an hour and forty six minutes so it’s biggest challenge was to fulfil everything inn that rather short time. Thankfully it wastes no time in getting stuck in and straight away we are projected into the fear and tragedy of this terrible War and before we know it we are thrust onto the beaches of Dunkirk and witnessing the horror of what those troops went through. An intense Hans Zimmer score kicks in and already we’re on the edge of our seats.
The film is beautifully shot throughout and the action is gritty and realistic without being overbearing. The cast are all brilliant; with particular stand out turns from young newcomer Fionn Whitehead as Tommy, Mark Rylance as Mr Dawson and Tom Hardy as Pilot Farrier. Even Harry Styles is charismatic in his acting debut and could be one to watch in the future.
All in all the components come together effectively and the film moves so fast there’s barely time to breathe between the title and the credits rolling. It gives you an insight into how treacherous the War really was but also how the men stood bravely together until the end. This is a film that will stay with you long after you leave the cinema and will leave you wanting to come back and absorb it all over again. This is Christopher Nolan’s best film in years and I hope he keeps it up because this isn’t much short of perfection.