In WHO KILLED BRITISH CINEMA? , Sir Ben Kingsley states in response to the next generation of UK film makers:
“ We have to be valiant!”
Bravery is precisely what English film director Christopher Nolan represents in DUNKIRK. There are no Americans. The film is propped up by Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy and what appears to sound like the voice of Michael Caine. One Direction fans can also check out Harry Styles. The film is original because for a big budget Hollywood World War Two story, dialogue is kept to a minimum and the narrative is secondary to what is an all immersive intense cinema experience about the harrowing challenges of survival under attack from an uncompromising enemy. Good for young audiences to see an alternative type of film making that does not pander to expectation or convention.
Nolan captures mayhem, confusion, claustrophobia, and tensions really well in DUNKIRK. My only slight reservation in the film is that the character of Cillian Murphy as an anxious emotionally scarred rescued fighter pilot is not examined in more detail as his feelings and needs to go home conflict with his saviours who want to venture further and save more from the sitting duck territory of Dunkirk. Hitler saw the Allies here as easy targets. Churchill knew that Britain was next on the horizon and felt compelled to save our spitfires and vessels to protect within our shores. This left our troops stranded and doomed on the beach of Dunkirk.
But what this film really exposes is that unique English spirit of fair play and self-sacrifice for the sake of the soul of decent mankind. Our current National Health Service is a symbol of this. Just as Cillian Murphy’s character is rescued from a layman’s boat compelled to leave the sanctuary of the English south coast to help with the war effort, hundreds of other civilian English boats set sail to help their fellow man.
I watched this film with the daughter of the English fighter pilot Graham Draper who flew the beautiful Spitfire during The Battle Of Britain before being captured in Lille in 1941 and was a prisoner of War until his release in 1945. We both agreed that the beauty of the film DUNKIRK was personified by the character of Spitfire fighter pilot played by Tom Hardy: clinical, conservative, magnificent, purposeful, silent and heroic. An emblem for a nation that made Great Britain a natural destination for people who wanted to contribute to such a society in return for a better life. Sebastian Faulk’s THE FATAL ENGLISHMAN comes to mind in respect of the Tom Hardy character.
Its very interesting to watch DUNKIRK today amidst the squabbles and arguments over Brexit. Just as the scene which depicts an officer shouting;
“British only! It’s a British boat.”
To oncoming Allies desperate for a way out of Hell. It is not said with glee, more rationale. There is nothing racist about putting your men first when there is a limited intake. Its nationalistic and something the most successful nation on Earth has always flaunted.
Watch DUNKIRK in IMAX. If you live in the West Midlands, watch it at Resorts World Birmingham NEC IMAX. The purpose built IMAX screen in your area. See it big! Its mesmeric!
WHO KILLED BRITISH CINEMA? Book Part 1 and film out soon.