Multiple viewpoints, three timelines, one amazing film. Not only did it capture exactly what happened during this operation, but it brought home the harrowing nature of war.
As always, Christopher Nolan delivered. This film wasn’t about the fighting; but about trying to get our army (and the French) to safety so they could go on fighting a war. Yet, on that beach, these men were fighting a different war, a war for survival.
Tommy’s viewpoint emphasised the difficulty these soldiers faced in trying to get home. I’ve lost count of the number of times he found his way onto a boat, only for it to be destroyed by the Germans, and him to wind up back on the beach at Dunkirk. His interactions with fellow soldiers, one of whom was Harry Styles (an impressive performance), highlighted the ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality that existed; yet Tommy tried to save the french officer, against the will of the others.
Mr Dawson, a man who had lost a son to the war (a common story) didn’t hesitate to volunteer his boat to aid the rescue operation. So many civilians did the same thing, enabling approx 300,000 men, out of the 400,000 stranded on that beach, to be rescued. That takes more than just courage and I am humbled by their selflessness.
Farrier, the remaining airborne fighter pilot, fought to keep the German air force from bombing the boats, to the extent that he sacrificed his own life for the sake of his comrades. To make such a decision is more than admirable and it was a heartstopping moment when he landed that wounded and fuel less plane on the beach, on the German side, and stepped out to face German guns.
Nolan has surpassed himself. Go and see this film, that’s all I can say.