Review by Myla Tosatto
Remember the old “You AreThere” series that they used to show in school? Anybody? No? What’s that? Yes, I am old because I remember them and perhaps so does writer/director Christopher Nolan. His latest movie, Dunkirk, is a classic example of a “You AreThere” program. (Would it help if I said it in a Walter Cronkite voice? Still no? Dang.) Nolan’s super clever storytelling device is that you experience the battle of Dunkirk for a week on the beach of Dunkirk, France, an hour in the air with a small group of fighter pilots and a day with a boat manned by civilians. The three stories collide in a loud, tense, heartbreaking tale. You feel the pain and anguish of the World War II participants.
The movie is a true ensemble piece. Sure, James D’Arcy, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy (in yet another movie where he wears a mask covering his mouth that he must have borrowed from his Batman or Mad Max movies) are in it, but everyone is a hero in their own way. As one soldier says, “Alls we did was survive.” That’s all we needed them to do. Dunkirk isn’t a traditional battle winning celebration film. It’s all about the retreat, and therefore the surviving.
Can kids see it? There is no sexual content (in fact, it’s hard to find a woman in the whole movie) and very little cussing (I cuss more while gardening and I’m not surrounded by German soldiers), but there is a whole lot of violence. War is hell. In this British movie, it’s “bloody hell” even. Nolan doesn’t shy away from the realities of war. People drown, explode, and get shot. History buffs will really like this movie. Fans of Nolan’s Batman series and Inception will enjoy it as well.
Dunkirk is now playing in theaters!