Dunkirk : A view

As General Patton once said, no poor bastard ever won a war dying for his country, he won the war, by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country. Dunkirk explores what happens when the tides were against the trapped Allied forces on the beaches of  Dunkirk in World War II. It is a lyrically  heart wrenching movie.

Yes, its true, but you died a hundred times with Schindlers List as well, and cringed with the Inglorious Basterds, cried listening to the Pianist, rooted for the Great Escape, yet admired Catch 22 ‘s irony   and whistled  with the soldiers crossing over  Bridge on the river Kwai, and your heart sank to see Life is Beautiful. So what’s new with Dunkirk?

Christopher Nolan is to Cinema what the 7 wonders are to the world. So to make any comment against the brilliance of his craft will surely stir the trolls nest. But in the true spirit of objectivity we go ahead.

World War II is the most documented war in the history of mankind. Therefore movie makers have made and continue to churn out more stories since 1940 ! I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few more  movies made during the early years of WWII. The dead horse has been flogged till the whips came off.

Hollywood’s  obsession with WWII started with Confessions of a Nazi Spy back in 1939 and ever since we have seen some brilliant movies over time. Cinematography, sound effects, editing, background score, VFX, and other technical advancements got us closer to the war as it were.

Well, now it is done. We get it. Its time for Hollywood and other countries producing similar films to move on. No matter how you package it, style it, make it technologically brilliant, it still remains a grim story of the those horrible years. Why keep digging up the past?

Spare a thought for the next generation Germans , who had nothing to do with the war, and feel deeply hurt and disturbed by it, are subjected to this incessant Allied view of the war with each movie year after year. Much fewer movies on what happened to the innocent Germans who got caught in the cross fire or in between  Nationalism and rationalism? Where are those movies which show the counter point of view before World War II began?

So I think they have had enough historical reminders to show the atrocities of the holocaust from the world over. They have and in many cases continue to bear the shame and trauma of the past. Life has moved on and so should this chapter of history, with all due respect.

Dunkirk with all its technical brilliance picks up yet another story from the chapters of World War II and shows it as a disturbing documentary at best. I’m sure it will resonate with survivors and people impacted or who still bear the brunt of WWII. But does it make a great movie ?

The long shot sequences ,restrained drama, bloodless opening sequence, add to the viewer’s impact, creating tension, which is heightened  by the clever sound effects. Great scenes of technical brilliance indeed.  Like the one where a beached trawler is being targeted one bullet at a time, while the Allied forces lay huddled up inside.

You get suffocated when the forces go underwater, and then you rise up with a gasp of air when their heads bob up in the water and many other cinematographically brilliant moments. When you exit the theater you are a touch disappointed about the movie experience, but are wide eyed about the technicalities of the film. So does it make for a great movie?

I will leave it your fine sensibilities to think about it.







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