Dunkirk full movie is such a heart-hammering and heroically British movie. Christopher Nolan’s astonishing new movie, a retelling of the Allied evacuation of occupied France in 1940, is a work of heart-hammering intensity and grandeur that demands to be seen on the best and biggest screen within reach. Still, its spectacle doesn’t stop at the recreations of Second World War combat, and like all great movies about war, Dunkirk is every bit as transfixing up close.
The land, sea and air strands of the story unspool simultaneously, although, each one spans a different period of time. It’s one week for troops huddled on the beach, one day for the civilian sailors sailing from the English coast to Dunkirk, and one hour for Spitfire pilots thinning out the Messerschmitts that dart and dive overhead like buzzards scenting blood. The approach is a structural device that sounds confusing on paper but is creamily intuitive in practice creating an unshakeable sense that these scattered events are somehow driving towards a single pivotal historical moment.
Dunkirk is a British movie in every inch with no detectable concessions to the international market. For instance, there isn’t the commercially fortunate presence of an American face among the cast. Although, there is an appearance from Harry Styles, from One Direction, as one of the young soldiers on the beach with unexpectedly not-at-all-jarring performance. Cillian Murphy and Kenneth Branagh also appear in prominent true-to-type supporting roles. What matters above all else is the actors’ visceral engagement with whatever seemingly insurmountable task is facing them in any given moment.
Amid the moment-to-moment heroism and struggle for survival in Dunkirk movie, the dialogue is sparse and functional at most. Dunkirk seems to be a silent movie at heart. That’s not a bad thing since the superb Hans Zimmer score battering, surging and counting off the seconds is such a constant presence it’s more or less an accompaniment. Yet, there’s also something rivetingly present-tense about it all. The period detail is meticulous but never fawned over, the landscapes as crisp as if you were standing on them, and the prestige-cinema glow turned off at the socket.
Turning the world on its side is a signature Nolan camera maneuver, and it happens repeatedly in the movie as albeit more subtly than in Inception’s corkscrew corridors and origami skylines. Being used during the scenes of aerial combat makes the scenes become as exhilarating as you’d expect. In a meanwhile, an extraordinary sequence in which a battleship takes on water and capsizes, the sea and the vessel’s hull seem to fold together like the closing covers of a pop-up book.