Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Why you should see 'Dunkirk'

Tonight I watched the movie Dunkirk

First, the positives. 

Historical accuracy: Although there will always be grumbling, nitpicky encyclopedia checkers where this sort of thing is concerned, most of the information I've seen suggests that the movie is reasonably faithful to history

Visuals: This is one of the most visually stunning movies I've ever seen, especially if you watch it on a cinema screen or a large-screen television. The aerial combat scenes are like...Wow, to use a technical term. 

Fast-paced plot: The movie starts off with a bang, quite literally. A group of British soldiers is ambushed by German machine gunners. The entire film is like that. There are no boring, inessential scenes.

Respectful treatment of the subject matter: The filmmakers clearly honored the brave British soldiers and civilians who defended their island against Nazi aggression, a full year before America entered the war. I'm not British, but I came away from this movie sort of wishing I was. 

The movie closes (I don't think this is too much of a spoiler) with Winston Churchill's famous "We shall fight on the beaches" speech. If you hail from anywhere in the Anglosphere, and you can listen to that speech without getting goosebumps...well, there is something wrong with you. Powerful stuff.

So, any negatives?

Okay, this movie was almost perfect. If it had a flaw (and this is a minor quibble, really) it was the overly ambitious scope of stories and characters presented in a single feature film. The movie jumped around a bit, between stories and characters that weren't obviously connected. 

That makes a certain kind of sense, for a movie like this, about a great historic battle. Still, Steven Speilberg was able to make a movie about D-Day (Saving Private Ryan, 1998) that managed to focus equally on character and history. 

But like I said, that's a minor quibble. This is great movie. Go see it, if you haven't already done so.