Nolan’s Stellar Magic : Dunkirk
The moments, after a new Christopher Nolan movie is announced are spent in excitement and anticipation, and waiting to be released so that when it does, the theatres are just wanting to be filled up.
When you do reach your seat, a humongous burst of energy buzzes through your body – a complete bubbly mix of anxiety, paranoia and eagerness reaches you as you wait for the innovation of the storyline to come crashing down to you.
Even the crowd’s hushed tones and whispers effectively reach and reassure you about the thrilling excitement that rolls in waves. It just drags around with the settling emotion that is provided as the movie plays to its completion.
Dunkirk, a film about men which symbolise finding meaning of life through the meaninglessness of war. It is a movie of paradox, where the setting belongs to the days of World War II and soldiers who were faced with the decision of life or death for either their comrades or when it came to save themselves, mastering their emotions responsibly and honourably, thinking of their country first. It is a collection of war stories – within the context of battle that shows courage and the severity of the situation and all of it is shown in verse of parallel universe: – between air, land and water.
As a director, Christopher Nolan has the ability to force the movie in having long stretches of silence and minimal dialogues to express the emotions through the story and focuses on the struggle through the war and not the horrible mutations caused by it. He manages to break the movie apart into small stories which highlight the individual acts of courage and heroism, totally dependent on the forced choices given to the characters, all observational anecdotes.
Many people would agree that this film depicts a part of World War II which has something to do with differences between the two ideologies of the divided world, the Allied power and those supporting the Nazis. In the movie, Germans had nothing to do, especially with what the characters were fighting for. There is no mention of the word ‘Germans’ or ‘Nazis’. That is the power of Nolan’s direction.
As for the actors, they too have done the most splendid job, bringing out the perfectly needed emotions out in the atmosphere of war. Even the younger actors are able to portray the torment raging in their characters’ mind. Especially Harry Styles (land), as he originated as a singer but it doesn’t hold him back as an actor. Tom Hardy (air) only needs his eyes to convey the determination to save the men fighting for their country, as he risks his own life. Mark Rylance (water) who plays a civilian in the movie, also sails into a war without a plan, believing it’s his duty.
Neither of these characters are meant to have back stories but are supposed to be ideals for their job, thriving on bravery and courage for survival and their countries.
The lighting is kept dim and gloomy throughout the movie showing the mood of the soldiers and the dreary atmosphere of the situation while in the end, it shows bright sunlight which gives hope to the soldiers, returning home.
Over all, the movie is beautifully directed, pushing all the true gruesome details of war aside and focussing only on the struggle to live. It commands the attention of the audience, that you find yourself overlooking even the most basic flaws. Especially when the stories finally converge, they give a sense of fulfilment within the mind.
To conclude, this movie, despite being plain yet intriguing, is a must watch only if you can immerse yourself to the deeper meaning of its symbolism.