Movie Night: Dunkirk

To my surprise, the theater near my workplace still had showings for Dunkirk in IMAX. I love Christopher Nolan movies (shoutout to Inception) and I happened to have a free Friday night, so I thought, “Why not?” I heard that watching it in IMAX is the only way to appropriately experience this film so I might as well watch it before they take it off the big screen for good.

Boy, am I glad I watched it.

In May 1940, Germany advanced into France, trapping Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk. Under air and ground cover from British and French forces, troops were slowly and methodically evacuated from the beach using every serviceable naval and civilian vessel that could be found. At the end of this heroic mission, 330,000 French, British, Belgian and Dutch soldiers were safely evacuated.

The concept of time is a strong theme in Dunkirk. Like Inception, this movie jumps between three different timelines and vantage points. As the film progresses, the timelines slowly converge into a single stream. The different vantage points will start making sense in helping the audience piece together the events that centered around the evacuation.

Dunkirk uses many nonverbal cues to communicate to the audience, like facial expressions, silence, and sound effects. For example, the constant ticking of a watch can be heard during certain parts of the movie. The ticking becomes more apparent and powerful during intense scenes to the point that it becomes stressful. This helps reinforce the theme of time as the soldiers have no idea how long it’ll take for them to be rescued or how much time they have left to live.

Dunkirk screen

Throughout Dunkirk, we see soldiers and civilians making sacrifices for one another. Many are praised for carrying out their duties, but there are some unsung heroes that don’t receive any kind recognition. But that’s war, right? Sacrifices are expected to be made, and it’s no surprise that it’s a major theme in this film.

The film does a great job of giving me a glimpse of how the nonstop stress of war might’ve felt. During the movie, when an attack seems to have concluded, I immediately start wondering when the enemy will attack next. I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to take a sip of my drink, only to be stopped by the fear of not knowing when the next impending attack will happen. Can’t spill the drink on myself because of a surprise bomb attack, ya know?

All in all, Dunkirk lived up to the hype. I enjoyed the use of subtle communication to help amplify the storytelling experience. The IMAX experience was pricey, but I would say it was worth it for the added effects that the bigger screen brought.

If you’re reading this and Dunkirk is still in theaters, I highly encourage you to watch it before it’s too late!

 

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9 thoughts on “Movie Night: Dunkirk

    • Betty Wong
      December 4, 2017 at 1:28 pm
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      loll i thought i always hit the like button but then i scrolled down on your page and realized i don’t…..well what do ya know hahaha

      Reply
  • Warren Tam
    December 4, 2017 at 1:59 pm
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    Seemed like a unique and different perspective from the typical war movies out there. I thought it was okay at first, but I felt like I appreciated it more once I actually understood the history of the Dunkirk battle.

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    • Vinson Ye
      December 4, 2017 at 2:52 pm
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      Yeah the start of the movie felt a bit meh but as it went on, it all started coming together

      Reply
  • Keanson Ye
    December 4, 2017 at 3:22 pm
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    Nice review! I think most people heading into this movie should really read up about what happened before this battle and what led to the beginning of the scene. It will show you how dire the situation was and if the Allies were to lose all of those troops the world would be totally different today. Some historians say the battle of Dunkirk was the biggest mistake for Hitler and the turning point for the war. Also if you are interested in these type of movies you can check out “Darkest Hour”, which is about Winston Churchill rallying the country against Hitler and what was going on in London during the Battle of Dunkirk.

    Reply
    • Vinson Ye
      December 4, 2017 at 3:32 pm
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      Yeah I should’ve read up on Dunkirk before going in cause I was a little confused at the beginning lol. I’ll def check out Darkest Hour.

      Reply
    • Keanson Ye
      December 4, 2017 at 3:44 pm
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      Vinson Ye when the film first came out alot of people posted videos on youtube telling people about what was happening. To sum it up the Germans outflanked the the French/British Troops and was able to lure the British/French Troops away from the main French Troops into Dunkirk. Those British Troops was 50 percent of the whole British Army and majority of the French/British mobile infantry and tanks were part of that force. The fact that the British was able to rescue almost 90 percent of the troops was an amazing feet itself because even the most optimistic projections at the time was a few thousands to 50,000 men saved at most. The reason why these troops were so important because they played a big part into defending Britain during the bombardment of Britain and eventually the contributing to the famous D-Day battle in Normandy. The Battle of Britain itself costed Hitler 50 percent of his airforce which might’ve helped him crush the Soviets after he lost the battle for Britain.

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    • Betty Wong
      December 4, 2017 at 5:14 pm
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      Shouldn’t a good movie be able to tell you the story, though, without background history?

      Reply
    • Keanson Ye
      December 4, 2017 at 5:30 pm
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      Betty Wong actually a lot of the new historical movies pick a very specific time like a day or two of the event and focus on it rather than a macro view of the event. ThAt way you get a more in-depth view of what’s going on at the exact moment instead of a macro view of the event. The movie does briefly mentions how they got to that point in the beginning of the movie, but there’s definitely more to it that will help you understand the situation that they are in.

      Reply

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