Dunkirk Review

With a few lines of prologue and a lack of any traditional exposition, Dunkirk immediately hurls the audience into the tense atmosphere that encapsulated the aforementioned beach during one of the Allied Forces’ lowest moments in World War II. What follows are 106 minutes of heart-pounding, riveting, and majestically-crafted cinema from direction so assured that the three disjointed narratives beautifully merge into a singular masterpiece. Set after the events that led to this “colossal military disaster”, the film opens as Tommy, portrayed by newcomer Fionn Whitehead, and several other British soldiers scavenge the town for food and water. They are wordless, but their gloomy mannerisms embody their defeated spirits. Whether it be the endless onslaught of fliers promising them no escape from the German encirclement or the beach littered with an increasing number of bodies, hope is a scarcity amongst the soldiers. Tommy is no different. After nimbly escaping enemy fire, he encounters the equally quiet Gibson (Aneurin Barnard) and together they attempt to sneak onto a medical ship disguised as stretcher-bearers. After their plan is foiled, they are joined by another young lad. You would be forgiven for not immediately recognizing him as the frontman of Britain’s most famous boy band. With surprising authenticity, Harry Styles seamlessly blends into the story and conveys impressive emotional depth despite his limited dialogue. From there, Dunkirk divides its time between three different...

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