Christopher Nolan has truly earned the reputation of being a masterful director who makes these visual spectacles along with well-written scripts. He has dabbled in sci-fi genre with Interstellar, comic-book superhero genre with The Dark Knight trilogy, fantasy genre with Inception, psychological thriller genre with Memento and now he is trying his hand on War movie with his upcoming Dunkirk. He mentioned that the movie has been told from three perspectives – soldiers of land, air, and sea.
The trailers, posters of the movie has the protagonist Tommy played by young Fionn Whitehead (One Direction singer) front and center. It showed his head lying down on the beach as another brutal Nazi air attack is about to hit, reflects the grittiness and intensity of the situation as well. Tom Hardy is engaged in an intense aerial dogfight.
The film is based on a true World War II story when over 300,000 allied troops were saved from Nazi offensive as part of the Operation Dynamo. Nolan has again used his favorite technology IMAX in truly inventive ways to reveal the scope of the operation. He has attempted something more visceral and stunning than his past directorial adventures.
While a number of new actors will be seen in the ensemble cast including ‘One Direction’ singer Harry Styles, but a number of old favorites are also coming such as Tom Hardy as British fighter pilot; Cillian Murphy as an injured soldier. Also, there is Kenneth Branagh as a military general and Mark Rylance as a sailor who visits Dunkirk to save as many as possible. So did he once again top himself (which is an impossible task) and delivered a masterpiece? Not even close.
Here’re 10 reasons why Dunkirk is the weakest movie of Christopher Nolan ever:
Spectacle without Substance:
Let’s admit it guys, it was a great visual spectacle but there was no heart in it.
Harry Styles is Joker….R u kidding me Nolan:
Nolan told us that the “One Direction” singer is so good that he compared him to Heath Ledger’s Joker. Gimme a fuckin break, Nolan.
It was supposed to be Saving Private Ryan:
We all thought that finally we are going to get a brutal, hard-hitting war movie and Nolan will prove that he can draw from Spielberg’s playbook and leave a mark, but all we got was Pearl Harbor (some will argue Pearl Harbor was better).
Such a waste of Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy:
Nolan continued his tradition of hiring known actors with whom he is comfortable working, the likes of Tom Hardy (fighter pilot) and Cillian Murphy (a wounded soldier) have been wasted in a colossal fashion.
A War movie is rated PG-13…yes, it’s possible, how I don’t know. We didn’t see a drop of blood and we were supposed to be horrified by the cost of war. It’s a blunder on the part of Nolan team to not go for an R-Rated bloody war film to really capture the state of the hopelessness of young British and French soldiers trapped in a brutal war.
No Backstories of Characters:
The character arcs have been critical in Nolan movies, but Dunkirk hardly offers anything depth to anyone. You barely know any character’s background which is why you ain’t really rooting for anyone.
Weak Background score:
The background score has always played an important role in Nolan movies including Dark Knight, The Prestige, Inception (my personal favorite) but this time Hans-Zimmer couldn’t create his magic. It was pretty average and didn’t add to the narrative. It was supposed to be a haunting score that evokes tension and uncertainty instead it was mild and ineffective.
Where was the “Wow” factor?
Every-time you are ready to watch a Nolan film, you know that you will be blown away by it. But I sat through the entire 1 Hr, 50 mins run time and not even once I felt that I am watching something larger than life. Watch Saving Private Ryan and you would know what I am saying.
Christopher Nolan is famous for presenting convoluted plots for intelligent movie-goers. He demonstrated that it’s possible to write multi-layered scripts, abstract plots and still be commercially successful. But a straight forward story about a rescue mission without any kind of uncertainty is just too un-Nolan.
Beats you over the head again and again:
When we went into the movie, we knew that it was a war movie. Half way through the movie, we knew war is going on and in the end, we knew the allied forces rescued 400,000 people from the beaches of Dunkirk. But the movie is trying too hard to tell us again and again that this is a brutal war, so be terrified anything could happen to these people. Guess what, they kept yelling at the top of their lungs, but you just want a movie to end.