Kennoniah’s review published on Letterboxd:
I'm reading the reviews now. SO many of them are between 4-5 stars.
I definitely liked it. Don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of Nolan myself, with Prestige blowing me away, and then when I thought it couldn't get better, I find Memento. Nolan's reputation precedes him, and rightly so.
But I'm wondering: if his name didn't have the incredible reputation it does, would this film get the same praise?
Maybe it's just a theory, I don't know. Let's talk about why my rating goes against the grain
- Characters are not only hard to relate to, but hard to distinguish. The casting may be the poorest thing in this movie. If I see another white guy in brown clothes with black hair I might cry.
- The plot. Now please feel free to hate on me for the header of this point. I know this is based on a true story. But many times a true story film has trouble actually making a film. Nolan loves to use his non-linear story format alot, and it works often incredible well. In the Prestige it's surprising how easy it is to follow along when it's jumping from perspective to perspective. This had a similar approach, which I thought was interesting, but stretched and squished to the point that it added to point 1, being underdeveloped characters.
Maybe I'm missing the point. Perhaps it is capturing not only the event, but the essence of war as well. Maybe that will be clear on a second watch.
Now that I've complained like a true American Artist, let's talk about the good stuff.
- Amazing cinematography. Whenever I was thinking about what was happening and what it meant, about every 20 minutes there would be one particular shot that made me forgive the movie. There were some lighting inconsistencies, which makes me think they filmed on location on different days. Not really a flaw then, just a noticeable attribute.
- Atmosphere. War is ugly. Nolan communicates intentions and atmosphere very well, especially in the first 10 or so minutes. Several times I forgot that this was a movie, and felt great suspense.
- Sound design. This movie is uncomfortable to listen to; but that's the point. Ear-piercing gunshots, bomb shells, and plane engines are real things, and are what the soldiers are hearing.
It's a good movie; It just seemed like that special flare that Nolan films have was...missing. Feel free to tell me I'm wrong.