Brits, grits, and sinking ships

A promotional poster for the film.

Photo provided

A promotional poster for the film.

John Bishop and Ethan Holland

Christopher Nolan’s accurate war movie “Dunkirk” recently helped display the true nature of the second World War when it released in theaters on July 21. “Dunkirk” is based on a real life battle and evacuation of British  troops who were quickly being cornered by German soldiers. While the film’s characters are completely fictional, they help capture the emotions and truth of the real world event.

Sections of the movie are split into 3 distinct categories: Land, air and sea. The parts of the movie taking place on land center on soldiers doing their best to survive air raids long enough for help to reach them. When the film switches to the perspective of the sea, an older man, Mr. Dawson and 2 young men, George and Peter, are shown to be part of the rescue by bringing civilian boats. Finally, the portions of the movie centered on the air show the story of a few pilots doing their best to defend boats from air raids.

The suspenseful and tense mood of this film is set in the very first seconds of the movie. A small group of British soldiers are ambushed, killing all but one. A small shootout followed by a sprint back to the British-French perimeter perfectly demonstrates the symbol of time running out that is used for the rest of the film.

The score of the film largely contributed to the tension throughout the movie. For example, in many scenes of the movie a quiet ticking of a clock can be heard. This greatly contributes to the suspense and helps show one of the true villains of the film: time itself. During the aforementioned first shootout scene, the quiet ticking slowly morphs into more of a heartbeat as the last survivor runs for safety. All of these elements helped the create a cinematic masterpiece.

However, no movie is free of problems. For example, the switches of perspective between land, air, and sea often come with confusing time jumps. The scenes would go from day, to night, to day again, with no acknowledgement of passing time.

This film manages to capture the horrors of war in a realistic retelling of the Battle of Dunkirk. In a brilliant cinematic experience, Nolan captures the eyes and minds of millions of moviegoers with his film, “Dunkirk”.