If you see one film this year make sure it is Dunkirk as, trust me, you will not be disappointed.
Christopher Nolan’s latest masterpiece is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before and honestly it shouldn’t even be called a film. This is an experience.
An extraordinary experience that must be seen on the big screen, in stunning 70mm IMAX if possible.
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Unlike Nolan’s other films that include Interstellar and Inception, Dunkirk has a very simple narrative and a stripped back documentary like approach.
It is 1940. World War II is in its early stages. 400,000 Allied troops are stranded on Dunkirk’s beaches. Enemy forces are closing in. These soldiers need to get ‘home’.
Working from his own screenplay, Nolan tackles these true events from three perspectives; land, sea and air.
These three story-lines intertwine together perfectly allowing audiences to be fully immersed by the desperate battle to get home.
A brutal battle that Nolan puts you at the very centre of thanks to the excellent storytelling, incredible use of sound and just jaw-dropping cinematography.
Every bullet pierces through you. Every bomb has you cowering in your seat. You struggle to breath as you are thrust underwater. You are on those beaches, just another anonymous stranded soldier trapped in the heart of the war.
Not only does Nolan take Dunkirk in a different direction than any of his previous works, but he completely turns the war genre on its head.
The majority of the characters remain anonymous, there is very little dialogue and although the heroism of the nation is celebrated, there is none of that patriotic crap that taints other war movies.
What you get instead is raw action set to a pounding and disorientating score which is Hans Zimmer’s best work to date and is bound to get you on the very edge of your seat.
If you think that the lack of context, politics and character backgrounds would leave you emotionally unattached, then you would be wrong.
Nolan’s decision to cast young and inexperienced actors was a genius move as the sheer terror in their faces feels real and their lost innocence will pull on your heartstrings, ensuring that you are left in tears at the emotional end.
Older actors such as Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy are all on top form, but it is the performances from the younger stars like Harry Styles (yes really) and Fionn Whitehead that will blow you away.
You could write several essays on how amazing Dunkirk is but it would be better for you to go and experience it for yourself to understand why it is one of the best films that cinema has ever seen.
War films are never going to be the same again.
Although the awards season is far away, Nolan should start preparing his Oscars acceptance speech.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.