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Dunkirk (2017) Review

Contains more jump-scares than a conventional slasher-fest.

Ever since Memento, there isn’t a film in his resume that hasn’t bent convention or redefined genres. Christopher Nolan – the name enough to make people shell out their bank deposits and line up outside IMAX screens has now created, not just a war movie, but a war experience. There’s quite a bit of ground to cover here even with the peculiarly short runtime. Doesn’t a Nolan flick usually take up half the day?

Majority of the accolade goes to Hoyte Van Hoytema for magnificently capturing the beach views, the skies, the short bursts of battle sequences and the claustrophobic vessel shots. Combine that with Hans’ ticking time-bomb score and Nolan’s skilled direction – you have a film which pleasingly assaults your eyes and ears while your mind is engaged in the back, comprehending the urgency of this entire exercise. It may clock in at just 106 minutes but that’s all the time necessary. The director’s choice of not having a conventional storyline with character back-stories and motivations leave us with a stripped down version of war. There’s 3 points of view in this particular conflict (land, air, sea) intersecting from time to time, synchronised with each other in times of peril. Snappy editing keeps you glued to your seat as the water-level rises on-screen leaving you breathless as well. Lack of dialogue is a big plus as Nolan’s signature monologues wouldn’t exactly feel natural here. Instead we get the front row to his vision about a gritty war landscape complete with a fitting, uplifting ending.

And the audience always applauds.

It’s a very different motion-picture compared to his previous works. Which makes you miss his penchant for writing imaginative, smart scripts. Dunkirk, here, is a simple straightforward war epic with very little non-linear story-telling. You applaud it while you are experiencing it, you talk about it as you leave but after the memories of the spectacle you witnessed begin to fade, you wonder – Why didn’t they leave it in theatres?

Dunkirk is a treat to be witnessed in IMAX. Any less and you might as well wait for the streaming services to pick it up.

Rating : 4/5

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