Dave’s review published on Letterboxd:
Nolan’s film is very well crafted in essentially every regard. I definitely think it’s his most pleasing to watch; the use of 70mm IMAX really shows. It brings visual grandeur and captures the enormity and of the events, most notably the beach scenes and the dogfights, which feel vast. All of the set pieces are incredibly impressive and perfectly executed.
The score, although arguably overbearing, is atmospheric and adds a certain intensity and emotion to the film. For me, Hans Zimmer’s music acts as a heartbeat to the films non linear events, pulsing and flowing throughout, hitting overwhelming highs and even intense lows. The film never really stops building.
Speaking of non linear timelines, would it even be a Nolan film if there wasn’t some mind fuckery going on? This film possibly sees Nolan becoming a mimic of himself. The straightforward story of Dunkirk has no real reason to be out of chronological order. I feel like Nolan has partly done this simply to follow in the vein of his previous works. However, I can justify it to a degree. I believe having each individual time-frame playing out simultaneously allows all 3 parts to build up together. This means that the film, as one whole, can build up its intensity until hitting shocking and cataclysmic crescendos.
Dunkirk has been criticised for its lack of character development, but I can’t get behind this argument. The film is an event study, and if it were to take the time individually seek out each character’s back story then the films length would grow enormously, and needlessly. Despite having a focus on certain groups, this isn’t a character study.
The event is captured incredibly well, and the British will is also conveyed well. Although the events were quite literally a “colossal military disaster”, the hope and support of the British was undeniably uplifting. Never surrender.