Dunkirk: The BRWC Review


Whether it’s the dark brooding mystery of Momento, the persistent mind-throb of Inception or the unrelenting, heart-squeezing tension of Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan remains a master of atmosphere.

Usually in films of this nature we witness the visceral, hellish nightmare of war but here, Nolan horrifies with cacophonous chaos which intermittently assaults the senses. The conflict itself is interspersed amidst an unrelenting fear which is exacerbated by the purposefully overbearing sound design and score.

Technically, Dunkirk may be Nolan’s most impressive film to date. Experienced at the BFI IMAX, the aural ferocity is equally matched to the exquisite 70mm projection.

It is awesome in the truest sense of the word. The photography, the audio and the editing are often daunting, wildly impressive and truly inspire awe. This is by far the best looking and best sounding motion picture I’ve seen this year and that is a testament to Christopher Nolan’s ceaseless advocating of shooting on film and his championing of the IMAX format.

However, strip away the technical razzle-dazzle and what you’re left with is a truly remarkable real-life event decorated with underdeveloped characters that left me wanting. For all its grandiosity and sensory beguilement there lacked a single character who resonated with any dimensionality. Oddly enough, the closest film this reminded me of was Titanic (fictional characters and plot taking place within a non-fiction event), but there at least, James Cameron gives us two lead characters to anchor us. The sparse dialogue in Dunkirk is often difficult to discern and there are at least two instances of groan-worthy lines. Don’t get me wrong. Nobody is phoning in their performances, it’s just that we don’t scratch beneath the surface of most of the characters and this is where the film loses some lustre.

This surface level characterisation is a complaint I’ve heard met against Nolan in previous films but I’ve either never given it much mind, or just flat-out disagreed with the notion. I know my concerns will fall on deaf ears among the overwhelmingly positive support of the movie. I very much enjoyed my time with Dunkirk. It’s a remarkable work of cinema that captivated and shocked me on a technical level. But whereas many are claiming it to be “film of the year” material (still Personal Shopper for me), I just happened to “like” it, not “love” it. It’s most certainly worth your time and attention but don’t feel disheartened if it doesn’t completely flaw you emotionally, you’re in good company.

Dunkirk is out now.

Go see it on the biggest screen possible!

We hope you're enjoying BRWC. You should check us out on our social channels, subscribe to our newsletter, and tell your friends. BRWC is short for battleroyalewithcheese.

Trending on BRWC:

A Step-by-Step Guide for PMP Certification Requirements

A Step-By-Step Guide For PMP Certification Requirements

By BRWC / 1st June 2024
Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga – The BRWC Review

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga – The BRWC Review

By BRWC / 29th May 2024
White Teeth: Review

White Teeth: Review

By BRWC / 30th May 2024
Abbott Elementary: Season 3 - Review

Abbott Elementary: Season 3 – Review

By BRWC / 3rd June 2024
Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Episodes 1-2 - Review

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Episodes 1-2 – Review

By BRWC / 17th May 2024 / 1 Comment

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Regular type person by day, film vigilante by night. Spent years as a 35mm projectionist (he got taller) and now he gets to watch and wax lyrical about all manner of motion pictures. Daryl has got a soft spot for naff Horror and he’d consider Anime to be his kryptonite.



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.