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Christopher Nolan's action triller about the WWII story commonly known as The Miracle at Dunkirk. July 21, 2017.

Dunkirk Nolan Fans Member Reviews (NFometer)

Posts: 453
Location: The Endurance
I recently watched it for the second time in a digital IMAX theater in Vietnam. Can't believe it was the superior experience to the digital IMAX I saw in freaking Hong Kong (which is supposed to be the more advanced country in entertainment facilities), in both the sound and image quality departments.

I appreciate it much more than I did the first time-- made me realize I forgot how great the acting of everyone was, specifically Branagh. And a lot of the plot points did click with me better this time around.

Only regret was I forgot to bring glasses, which makes me want to slap myself because I couldn't fully appreciate the beauty of the film's cinematography. :facepalm: I really hope I can watch it for a 3rd time.

I agree with some people's opinion that this is Nolan's most "perfect" or well-made film yet. It's definitely among his top tier films, though I personally would rank one or two other films of his above this.
Posts: 248
Location: Chicago
Bale Fan wrote:I recently watched it for the second time in a digital IMAX theater in Vietnam. Can't believe it was the superior experience to the digital IMAX I saw in freaking Hong Kong (which is supposed to be the more advanced country in entertainment facilities), in both the sound and image quality departments.

I appreciate it much more than I did the first time-- made me realize I forgot how great the acting of everyone was, specifically Branagh. And a lot of the plot points did click with me better this time around.

Only regret was I forgot to bring glasses, which makes me want to slap myself because I couldn't fully appreciate the beauty of the film's cinematography. :facepalm: I really hope I can watch it for a 3rd time.

I agree with some people's opinion that this is Nolan's most "perfect" or well-made film yet. It's definitely among his top tier films, though I personally would rank one or two other films of his above this.


No. We only have digital. Too economically competitive a place to build huge theaters, and people have low appreciation for cinematic arts or any sort of arts in general. There's a saying that "every inch of land is gold" here.
Posts: 453
Location: The Endurance
^ they are digital, but aren't digital IMAX still IMAX? I don't get it :crazy:

And I understand. Hong Kong houses (if you can call them that) are kinda depressing to live in.
Posts: 896
I've already posted this elsewhere on the forum, but because this thread is the official receptacle for it:

Nolan crafts one of the most visceral war films ever made, examining heroism, cowardice and the moral quandaries in between. My only reservation is Zimmer's score, which occasionally sounds a bit too contemporary with distortions and electronic touches, but is otherwise seriously effective. A-

Full review here: https://romancinema.wordpress.com/2017/07/20/review-dunkirk/
Posts: 50
Location: India
DUNKIRK is an amalgam of every cinematic technique that Christopher Nolan has been honing since his first feature film FOLLOWING. From non-linear narration to parallel cross-cutting timelines building up to a thrilling climax. From exploiting the nature of time in cinematic language to diving deep into the psychology of characters with existential philosophy. From maximalist, overpowering use of Hans Zimmer score to building the grandest spectacle possible in IMAX grounded in realism. Nolan employs everything that he has up his sleeve to create a grand magic trick that is as much about "the turn" as it is about "the pledge" and "the prestige".

DUNKIRK is more of a suspense thriller than a war drama- putting the viewer into a relentless, nail-biting experience without ever allowing time to catch a breath- Zimmer's ticking clock synth music syncing with your heartbeat. Relying for the most part on visual language of the medium- Nolan has finally mastered the craft of silent cinema which he began to experience with since TDKR. We never see the Germans- they are only described as "the enemy"- an invisible, merciless force that towers above the 400,000 thousand men trapped on the beach, and the sirens of Heinkel and 109 planes sound like a calling of the death itself. We never learn the names of the soldiers that we spend most of the time with, but we empathise simply out of the horror-inducing situations they face. Every one of them desperately running for one thing- survival. It's this minimalist approach to the subject that makes DUNKIRK unlike any other war film that has come before. It wouldn't be far off to say that DUNKIRK redefines the nature of War films. Nolan crafts the narrative that is told from three different perspectives- while bending the rules of time in cinematic medium yet again- to show how small acts of heroism cumulatively lead to victory even if that means only survival.

"Well done, lads."

"All we did was survive."

"That is enough."

DUNKIRK remains one of the most important War films ever made, and technically, it is the most meticulously crafted Nolan film yet.

See it BIG. See it in IMAX.

https://boxd.it/iKQEh
Posts: 444
Just wanted to chime in again and say, what an incredible movie. Got me teared up the second time, again. When the movie ended, pretty much everyone sat in silence. It's certainly in his top tier of films. I just want to see it again.
Posts: 10169
Update


£
Posts: 6
Still buzzing in my head since watching it last Thursday.

Will be watching it again soon. (Again in IMAX 70mm)

My first view experience - 9.5/10. (Could change after second view)
Posts: 13
Watched it for a third an final time today, in IMAX. Once again, picked up on new, fresh insights. Also ready to give my final score of 9/10

SPOILERS AHEAD
Some interesting things I've gathered:

- Tommy and Alex had very differing reactions after being saved on the Moonstone, and this I think highlights the theme of conscience.

- Tommy was not a spectacular soldier by any means. Nor was he motivated by higher calling or sense of duty. But the crucial thing was that he managed to keep his humanity intact throughout the evacuation. Survival was his number one priority, but he did not place it beyond his basic decency as a human being.

- Alex in contrast faltered at the most critical juncture. He reared the ugly side of human nature, and proved that he was willing to do anything to survive, even if it meant pushing an innocent out to a slaughter, and even though he was clearly aware that his actions were grotesque.

- When the Moonstone docked and the soldiers disembarked, the blind man giving out food and water seemed really random and out of place. Alex bemoaned that they (the British Armed Forces) had let their people down, and he simply could not comprehend why the old man had said "well done".

- Essentially, what we saw was Alex echoing his own guilt. The cruel irony was that he achieved what he most desired -- survival at all costs, but was left devoid of any shred of feeling except overwhelming shame and guilt. He lamented that the old man "could not even bear to look at us", which was a false conclusion as he had walked away without once squarely facing the old man, and hence simply missed that the old man was blind. In fact, his interpretation of the old man's words and actions was merely a projection of his own conscience. The old man had continued with the remark that survival was "enough", but Alex could not acknowledge this, because he knew deep down that that it wasn't, not for him anyway.

- Tommy on the other hand could bear to pause and look squarely at the old man. There was no stewing in his own shame, because he had escaped with none. Once on the train, he slept in an instant, because he could be at peace with himself.

- Nolan's films always end with a final, grandiose flourish. In Dunkirk, we almost get that as well, but for the last 2 seconds where the camera switches back on Tommy. A face full of tension and uncertainty.

- This was coming back to the 'roots' of the film. Bring the viewer back to reality of the moment. A firm reminder that for all the massive success that the evacuation of Dunkirk would prove to be (even if in retrospect), the presiding sentiment amongst the people at the time was one that was bleak and uncertain. Britain was still in the midst of its darkest hour, and was heading into an arduous future of homeland defense.

- Tom Glynn-Carney, who plays Peter Dawson, put in a wonderful performance. All the talk was how Mark Rylance did a real good job (he definitely did), but Glynn-Carney had some scenes where he showed great subtlety and polish in his acting, and I think him more than holding his own inadvertently also allowed Rylance to shine.

- The Sea timeline had some of the very best moments in the film, but I thought that the role of George was somewhat awkward and cliched, even if it did bring forth a very important theme that Nolan was trying to infuse a very important theme into the film (the essence of the Dunkirk spirit), but did not manage to do so in a way that felt organic and authentic.

- Similar to Interstellar and TDKR, Nolan tried to achieve A LOT within one film, but left for some sloppy moments (the whole scene where they were hunkered inside the trawler saw some slightly dodgy scriptwriting). Which was understandable for Interstellar and TDKR seeing that they were both running close to three hours; but at a relatively brief 1 hour and 40 minutes, Dunkirk could really could have done with a tad longer running time, which would have allowed better overall pacing.

- Nolan actually throws a lot of crumbs within the film to aid the audience in sewing together the three timelines. Hard to explain just through text, but there are subtle cues in the background at some point in many scenes which is basically a replay of a previous scene in the film -- just from a different angle

- One of the things that I initially couldn't fully grasp was the intricacy of interwoven timelines. But I can see that there are two very big overall merits

- In a small number of scenes, the ominous and gradual build up, followed by the sudden release of tension at the moment of timeline convergence is what creates maximum visceral impact. The scene that most exemplifies this was Farrier's last ditch downing of the German bomber. The climax occurs when the camera pans to the aerial view of Farrier's Spitfire coming into frame, lining up for the one chance at a killing blow. The preceding scenes show the perspective from in the water, on the Moonstone, and on the destroyer Vanquisher. The urgency and desperation of the moment is heightened through escalation, and thus the tremendous burden of Farrier's mission is thrust right to the fore.

- By rearranging timelines, and with the aid of multiple viewings of the film, the viewer is clearly able to identify seemingly innocuous moments from earlier scenes that only make sense later on when seen from another timeline. For example, there is this particular scene where Farrier is advancing towards Dunkirk, and we see a half-sunken trailer boat with its crew in the process of abandoning ship. The boat is seemingly no different from the tons of others in Dunkirk -- experiencing a miserable demise. The audience things nothing much of it and simply glances over it.

- Of course, we later find out that the boat is actually not just any boat, but one in which a major part of the film takes place in. And that the minuscule figures in the water are not just anybody, but actually Tommy and Alex. This exemplifies the complete randomness of chaotic war, and draws attention to how insignificant each soldier can be if seen from a very broad perspective, or simply in the eyes of a different character. Consequently, this relates back to the bleakness of the film, and justifies why Nolan chose not to inject backstories (and hence individuality) into each of his characters.

- When I watched for the third time today, it was quite an unusual feeling to realize that, during that one brief flyby shot of the sinking trailer, an extremely poignant event (pseudo-Gibson's death by drowning) was actually taking place just out of our sight.

- Lastly, I really liked the way in which pseudo-Gibson died. The fact that he perished in the most likely way (drowning), completely alone with nobody around to help him (in contrast to every instance where he saved Tommy and Alex), and in large part due to his commitment to help others where possible (intently focused on plugging the gaps), was just the most concrete possible testament to how war is indeed unfair, unforgiving, and... unbiased.

- In a film full of flawed characters, pseudo-Gibson was the one who most fit the bill of the sacrificial hero. But nobody would ever know of his fate, The impact of his actions would endure (at least two men survived due to his actions), but he would never receive recognition for it. Almost as if he ceased to exist.
Posts: 1199
Location: Locked up with Kojima
I have to see it again but 9/10.
It feels wrong to rate it without a second viewing, but on a technical and cinematic level, this is nearly flawless.
It's such a departure from Nolan's other work yet Dunkirk proves how versatile a director he is. I really liked how the timelines weaved in and out, but I don't think I appreciated it the during the film itself. I really hope his next film is another unexpected genre.

9/10 because my theater was irritating the hell out of my viewing and distracted me at times with it (weird sound and it looked like someone had a bounce house in the projector room or some shit).
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