The moment the credits started rolling in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, a peremptory silence shrouds the theater. I walk out to find it is raining cats and dogs outside, but instead of reaching out for my umbrella, I saunter through the crowded streets. In this moment, I was aware of life happening all around me, a feeling as rare as they come. And there I understood the silence back in the theater. It was a moment of our gratefulness to the Almighty that we were alive, present in that moment. The last time I experienced such emotions was three years ago, when I watched a little movie called The Shawshank Redemption.
Dunkirk works on a three-level non-linear narrative structure which eventually comes together as a cohesive whole. What results because of this is probably one of the most thrilling experiences you will ever have at a cinema theater. Laden with a sense of urgency from the very first frame, the overall tension builds up with each passing scene, with great help from Hoyte Van Hoytema who has captured the finest war footage since Vittorio Storaro in Apocalypse Now. Frequent collaborator Hans Zimmer’s score is exhilarating, and the use of the ticking clock sound works wonders after some time, for it starts to sound like nails being bitten in the midst of this macabre.
The Dunkirk evacuation was a desperate cause, and this is a desperate movie. Almost all the characters in Dunkirk are anonymous, as if to not attract attention to the bravery of a selected few ignoring the whole picture. But this move worked on a psychological level for me as well. What if the reason why no one is named is because everyone knows each other ? Have they been stuck here for so long ?
Even though the questions about his greatness have drawn divisive responses, the veracity of the belief that Christopher Nolan is the greatest visionary to have graced cinema in 21st century is hors concours.With Dunkrik, he has crafted one of the great haunting visions of cinema which will be talked about in the same breath with works such as Aguirre. This is his ticket to the hall of the greats.
I went into it, expecting a character-driven emotional drama which Nolan’s work is characterized by. Never have I been more happy to be disappointed.
RATING :- 9.4 / 10
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