April 14, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

“Dunkirk” – The Reality of War

By Nick Boyd

 

“Dunkirk,” a World War II movie, is one of the most intense war movies I have ever seen. Taking place in 1940 at the Battle of Dunkirk in France, the film focuses on British and Allied forces who are trapped and have to evacuate the area with the Germans closing in on them. Outnumbered, this was the only option they saw of salvaging things and averting a nearly complete destruction of the British army. The immediate problem, however, was that there were not enough navy vessels to transport the soldiers across the English Channel and back to England. The director puts us right in the perspective of the soldiers and pilots as we get a first-hand view of things. Also, never once do we actually see the enemy, which is atypical for a war film. Both the cinematography and editing in the film are superbly done.

Unlike “Saving Private Ryan,” probably its closest thematic companion, “Dunkirk” does not really have a Tom Hanks like character to guide us through the proceedings. The closest we get is Fionn Whitehead’s character, Tommy, who is a British Army private. That however does not take away from things, as the ensemble nature of the narrative is what this movie is built on.

The movie is divided into three sections – the air, the sea, and the land. Tom Hardy plays an ace RAF pilot, who is able to really give the Allies a boost by shooting down German planes. A poignant subplot is provided with a small civilian boat (of which there were many during the evacuation period), which sets out to rescue soldiers in need. Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”) plays the captain of the boat, who on his way to Dunkirk with two adolescents alongside him, rescues a shivering soldier (played by Cillian Murphy in a scary performance) in the water. The soldier (likely suffering from PTSD) is adamant that they not head to Dunkirk because the boat will surely be shot at. The scenes on the sea were probably the most harrowing, especially when the boats would overflow with water and the soldiers were trying to avoid drowning. Viewers with claustrophobia are forewarned.

Although for the most part a very well told film, I thought that the ending was somewhat lacking in impact. Also, one scene in particular did not make sense when the British soldiers were putting their hands in the bullet holes of the ship that they were on, as the bullets were flying all over the place.

The chaos of war is captured in vivid detail with images that really stick with you. The film provides a visceral reaction in the viewer. The director makes sure that we do not forgot this pivotal turning point in the war and does a fine job honoring and celebrating the heroes that came out of this.

A scene from “Dunkirk.”
Related Posts

Film Review: Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

July 19, 2023

July 19, 2023

FILM REVIEWMISSION IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART ONERated PG-13163 MinutesReleased July 11th The story in this “Mission: Impossible” chapter, “Dead...

Film Review: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

July 5, 2023

July 5, 2023

FILM REVIEWINDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINYRated PG-13154 MinutesReleased June 30th The director of Indiana Jones and the Dial...

Film Review: Past Lives

June 27, 2023

June 27, 2023

FILM REVIEWPAST LIVESRated PG-13105 MinutesLimited Releases June 2nd and June 9th, Full Release June 23rd The Korean concept of “In...

Film Review: Sanctuary

June 8, 2023

June 8, 2023

FILM REVIEWSANCTUARYRated R96 MinutesReleased May 19th In my humble estimation, this is one of the best movies of the year....

Film Review: The Little Mermaid

June 2, 2023

June 2, 2023

FILM REVIEWTHE LITTLE MERMAIDRated PG135 MinutesReleased May 26th With today’s technological developments, a live-action The Little Mermaid is not only...

A Riveting Revival of the Pulitzer Prize-Winning “A Soldier’s Play” Now Playing At The Ahmanson Theatre

May 31, 2023

May 31, 2023

On Stage With… Murder mysteries, whether cinematic or theatrical, are one of the most popular subjects. The list is quite...

Film Review: Chevalier

May 12, 2023

May 12, 2023

By Kathryn Boole  RATED PG-13107 MinutesReleased April 21, 2023 Chevalier is based on the true story of a historical figure...

Ballet at the Broad Stage Memorial Weekend – Meet the Talent!

May 10, 2023

May 10, 2023

Westside Ballet of Santa Monica returns to the Broad Stage with special guest artists kicking off Friday May 26th with...

Elizabeth McGovern Lights Up The Stage in “Ava – The Secret Conversations”

April 26, 2023

April 26, 2023

Play About Legendary Screen Star Runs Until May 14 At The Geffen Playhouse By Beverly Cohn Ava Gardner, born Ava...

Unconventional Art Festival “The Other Art Fair” Returns to Santa Monica This Weekend

March 31, 2023

March 31, 2023

140 independent artists, immersive installations, performances, DJs, and a fully stocked bar await visitors at Barker Hangar The Other Art...

Samohi Theatre’s “The Drowsy Chaperone” Takes the Stage in Santa Monica

March 1, 2023

March 1, 2023

Shows will take place at Barnum Hall on March 3 and 4 at 7 p.m. and March 5 at 3...

Film Review: “Marlow”

February 23, 2023

February 23, 2023

FILM REVIEW“MARLOWE”Rated R109 MinutesReleased February 15th “Marlowe” is a beautifully shot period piece that takes place in the late 1930’s....

Film Review: All Quite on the Western Front

February 22, 2023

February 22, 2023

I have never been a soldier at war, although I have close friends and relatives who have been. Universally they...

SMC Emeritus Concert Band to Hold Free Concert This Weekend at the Broad Stage

February 22, 2023

February 22, 2023

Concert February 26 will feature musical selections with an outdoor theme Santa Monica College’s Emeritus Concert Band, under the baton...