I have, at last, seen Christopher Nolan’s film “Dunkirk”!
everything that I’d anticipated – in terms of being made to feel as if ‘you
were there’ in the stark, brutal, frightening reality of war. Nolan cleverly
(and very effectively) does this through three separate narratives (the evacuation
from the beach; the pleasure craft coming to the rescue; and the battles in the
air), which play out over three different time periods (one week, one day and
one hour respectively)... with everything converging at Dunkirk and with time itself
being variously compressed and elongated.
It’s all brilliantly
done… and really does give you a sense of being part of the action.
My one slight reservation is the ‘fictionalisation’ of it
all. True, stories-within-stories probably do help to convey a sense of reality
(ie. how something affects a person or a family member or a colleague), but
there were certainly times during the film when I found myself wanting to see
the ‘bigger picture’ and not to be caught up in a bit of made-up story! I’m a
great admirer of Kenneth Branagh as an actor, but even I found his portrayal of
‘Commander Bolton’ like something out of a 1950’s war film (or even like his
characterisation of Isambard Kingdom Brunel at the London Olympics opening
ceremony!). But, hey, that’s probably just me…
Anyway, this is
a film definitely worth seeing.
PS: I’m clearly not used to attending
cinemas such as ‘Cinema De Lux’ (frankly, give me the Watershed every time!). Somewhat ridiculously (I think it’s the first
time I’ve been to a cinema before noon), I attended the 11.50am showing – but COULD
have attended any one of today’s FIFTEEN scheduled screenings(!). In the event,
I was one of just FIVE people in the audience… in an auditorium that seated
PPS: The adverts and trailers ran for
a full THIRTY minutes (I looked at my watch)! Not only that, but they were INCREDIBLY loud
(and I mean incredibly)… it felt a bit like being in a 1970s disco where the
DJ wanted to show off the volume of his machinery. Anyway, I found it utterly unbearable
and, acknowledging that there just might be one or two loud explosions in the
main feature film (something of an understatement!), I ended up stuffing tissue paper in both
ears (yes, REALLY!) in anticipation… and I’m very glad that I did!
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