Dunkirk – the film

This afternoon we went to see the new film Dunkirk. It has been getting rave reviews but we would have gone to see it anyway as Jack’s father George was one of the soldiers lucky enough to be rescued from the beaches. Which is just as well because if he hadn’t been then there would have been no Jack!

The film is very tense, there’s no preamble, it begins with soldiers running through French streets under fire then switches to one of the small rescue boats being kitted out for the journey over to France – to save the British army. The action keeps cutting between that boat, the beach at Dunkirk and the battle going on in the air. There’s really very little dialogue, compared with most films anyway and that probably adds to the atmosphere. Mark Rylance is particularly good as the small boat owner but all the acting is good.

The only thing that sort of annoyed me was that there seemed to be a distinct lack of soldiers on the beach. I’ve seen photographs of it and it was absolutely packed out, as you would expect with up to 330,000 British men waiting to be evacuated, and later 150,000 or so French soldiers. If they didn’t want to pay for so many actors they could have computer generated them easily.

The Guardian film critic wasn’t impressed by the film although he was mainly annoyed by it focusing on one small boat rather than on some of the more dashing real life stories involved, but I don’t agree.

You can see the official film trailer here.

The photo below is of my in-laws George and Nancy on their wedding day which was arranged very quickly when George thought that he was going to be part of the D-Day invasion force four years later. I suppose they thought that the odds were against him surviving and as they had been going out with each other for years and years it might be now or never.

6 thoughts on “Dunkirk – the film

  1. I saw it this week and was very impressed. I’m not usually drawn to war stories (well, the actual battles as such) but I thought it was very well done. I liked how you saw the same events from different perspectives.

    At the time I was watching it I didn’t think much about the actual numbers of the men on the beach but when I realize it was 400,000 it does seem like they could have added more. I know Christopher Nolan tries to use as little CGI as possible but I think it might have been worth doing. Overall it was really good though.

    • Karen K.
      I’m not a big fan of CGI myself but it has its uses now and then. I suspect that a lot of people in the UK are going to see this as a sort of Brexit film, (Britain on their own) whereas to me it’s really the opposite. The EU has stopped Germany and France from getting embroiled in another war with each other, spreading to the rest of Europe. I just hope it doesn’t all fall apart.

    • Christy,
      Thanks for that link. I did see Atonement when it was first released. It seemed a bit bizarre but as Dunkirk was obviously coastal then there probably would have been a fun fair nearby. It does make it seem a lot busier and there’s a lot more going on than in the new film. My father-in-law never really spoke about his experience, apart from mentioning the German tank close by and I’m fairly sure he wouldn’t have watched a film about it – if he had still been alive.

  2. Thanks so much for posting your thoughts about this film. Ken and I have been debating whether to make the long trip necessary to go see it.
    How fascinating (and lucky) that Jack’s father was one of the soldiers rescued! And I love the photo of his parents.

    • Judith,
      I think you’ll enjoy the film, but nowadays it never seems to be long before they turn up, so if it’s a really long journey, just wait for it on TV!

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