From the get go, Mr. Nolan does not spare a single single to hook the viewers onto the narrative of the story, it is a bit jarring at the beginning but you get used to it and wait for all the different timelines to converge at its own pace. The film is mostly quiet, which makes sense as at this difficult time of their life, realistically speaking, they will not be talking small talk but the only thing that they would want is to survive and go home to their loved ones. This drive to reach home was apparent throughout the story and made viewers root for characters that they don’t fully know.
I am a huge fan of Mr. Andrei Tarkovsky and all of his work, he was one of the most visionary directors, I commend Mr. Nolan to bring his style of cinema to the masses. Mr. Tarkovsky was all about showing emotions of characters through the environment, as if the characters are just puppets of their surrounding environment. Mr. Terrance Malik in his Days of Heaven time was like that and it gives cinema another dimension and treat to watch.
Most of the storytelling is visual and comes from the suffering of the soldiers at Dunkirk and how the home came to them. The strong and extremely beautiful visuals by Mr. Hoyte van Hoytema are coupled with intense deafening sound. The sound design was superb and gave a feeling like we are in the middle of the war. I am personally disappointed with the soundtrack though as I didn’t feel like it wasn’t Mr. Zimmer’s best work and not at all memorable. There was a sequence which had almost deafening sound design which worked perfectly given the intensity of that sequence. Some people may find it too difficult to bear but it was intense and worked well. Since i watched the movie in a standard 35mm projection, i cannot comment on the IMAX experience but i can truly say that it would have been far superior experience. Since i watched Interstellar in 70mm IMAX projection and then later in 35mm Standard projection the experience was night and day different. I can also expect the sound to be better in IMAX cinemas.
So the question is if Dunkirk is my personal favorite Nolan film or not? Honestly, NO. The Prestige is still my favorite Nolan film due to its complex structure, acting and tight pacing.
I will give Dunkirk an A.