Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” was a dumpster fire
This article is for all the film buffs that were hoodwinked into believing “Dunkirk” was a good movie.
It is for all the pretentious hipsters who think Christopher Nolan is some sort of genius that can do no wrong. In fact, Nolan can do wrong, and he mastered the art of grandiloquence and self-indulgence with “Dunkirk.”
The movie is from three perspectives of the Dunkirk experience: land, air and sea. Each takes place over a different time span in Nolan-esque non-linear fashion.
The land experience takes place over seven days, the sea lasts a day and the air lasts an hour. Eventually, the stories overlap and, voilà, you just wasted almost two hours of your life waiting for a plot that never came.
First, there are maybe two words spoken in the entire film. While this is slightly misleading, the film features such little dialogue that Nolan contemplated shooting without a script. The notion of shooting without a script is the equivalent of, “I’m not like other guys. I’m different.”
This show-don’t-tell method is something film experts teach on day one of screenwriting class. Nolan follows these teachings to the extreme, but it leaves one wondering who his characters are and why on earth Harry Styles is on screen.
It didn’t matter in the end. Every paid actor could have been replaced by a sack of potatoes with a rifle strapped to its side and no one would have been able to tell the difference. The saved budget could have been used to hire writers to formulate an actual plot or anything other than the noisy explosions extravaganza that persists for the entire duration of the film.
Even when there is dialogue, the music score overpowers the spoken word. It was as if Nolan knew he made a giant piece of garbage and told the editors in post-production to drown out every line with the violin-heavy score. He clearly doesn’t want you to hear anything his characters are saying.
Like most Nolan films, “Dunkirk” has amazing visuals that were all captured on 65-millimeter film. The dogfight scenes, which feature Tom Hardy’s heavy breathing and the occasional “roger that,” are sure to keep you invested.
Don’t listen to the Rotten Tomatoes reviews. “Dunkirk” has no protagonist. It’s just an ensemble of warm bodies that run, fly or swim around the coast of Dunkirk for over 100 minutes.
There is a scene during the naval portion of the story where a British boat owner and his adolescent crew decide to help the trapped soldiers of Dunkirk. As they sail toward the coast of France, they save a stranded soldier whose ship was destroyed.
After telling the soldier their intended destination, a skirmish ensues and leaves one of them dead. Mind you, this entire debacle unfolds over the course of the movie. But when the death happens, it holds no weight because Nolan didn’t connect his characters to the audience.
Nolan wanted his audience to sympathize with the desperate situation of Dunkirk, not the characters. This approach does little to connect his audience with the story he’s attempting to tell.
“Dunkirk” is full of incredible explosions that pair nicely with a deafening music score. Combined, the two will burst your eardrums as you watch the world’s loudest silent film. Oh look, there’s Harry Styles, again.
Assistant Opinion Editor Anthony Cianciulli is a broadcast journalism senior and can be reached at [email protected]