Tay’s review published on Letterboxd:
here is a little slice of humanity for you: when the credits started to roll, i couldn't move. i didn't want to say anything. i was crying & i was trying to compose myself.
the majority of the audience got up to leave after applauding. a few people lingered, me and sam included, the people sitting behind us included, too. the theater starts to fall silent as everyone leaves.
then, suddenly & softly, the man sitting behind me goes, "well. that was dope."
"dope" is not the first word i would use to describe Dunkirk, but it was such a human word, such a colloquial word, such a simple and light and beautiful word after this complicated and blue and horrifying moment in time. "dope" brought me back from the shores of Dunkirk, which although i'm... humbled, i guess, to have experienced/seen onscreen, i was glad to be taken out of it, too.
this is Nolan at his absolute finest, at least of what i've seen of his. i've always thought his weakest elements were exposition & hallmarkish scriptwriting. Dunkirk shines because Nolan limits himself so much, because allows for a great minimal to say more than words can express adequately. still, the weakest point of this film are the very few instances of dialogue we do get (which... perhaps stand out even more poorly since there is so little else with which to compare it) -- i mean, did "home" really have to so explicitly be the buzzword of this movie??? no, but i'm willing to forgive it because of everything else:
some of the most beautiful cinematography i've ever seen. good god, that blue........... the few pops of red, the few instances of green....... those muted & flat but still so vivid shots of the planes in the sky?
i'm a Slut for nonlinear storytelling and i think we need more of it but we need more of it that has a purpose. Dunkirk is a paragon of how to tell things out of order. Nolan makes meaning out of chaos by pushing back against the idea of a clear-cut beginning, middle, and end. everything happens at once, everything is isolated, everything comes together, everything falls apart, nothing stops but when did it ever really begin??
i loved Zimmer's scores but good god. he outdid himself here. i don't think i'll ever be able to just casually listen to this soundtrack because it stressed me the fuck out, but holy fucking shit. i will say...... that i do agree.......... that a few moments of absolute silence would've been way more impactful in between the constant noise. i know it was a Very Intentional Choice to include next-to-no moments of silence, but idk... i think it would've been more dynamic to really have those absolute peaks of too much noise and the total valleys of nothingness, of utter bleakness, but i'm not that upset about it
i hate war movies: partially because i hate violence, but mostly because i am so anti-war with all of my being that i can't even entertain condoning it as a subject for film because inevitably it is partially being offered as entertainment and i just can't get down with that. i am glad this is one of the only war movies i will ever see. this is unlike any war movie i've seen before. is this a war movie? i mean, it is, but it's also a horror film, with the most horrible monster of all: ourselves. but it's also a film full of so much hope, so much resilience, so much power.
Dunkirk, as some may eloquently put it, was dope.