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Dunkirk: Revolutionizing the War Movie Genre

New War Movie Provides a New Outlook on War

Hayden Essley

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Among the world of cinema, there have been many World War II based movies, ranging from the cold, bitter snows of Russia to the blood filled beaches of Normandy, France.

However, no movie comes close to the intensity and uniqueness of “Dunkirk”, a new masterpiece from the critically acclaimed producer Christopher Nolan. Nolan is often known for making amazing movies such as “Interstellar” and “The Dark Knight Rises”.

“Dunkirk” is a brand new world war movie, not only revitalizing the genre and style of World War movies, but almost reinventing it by shining a light on a rather unbeknownst event during WWII.

One that was crucial to the survival of Great Britain.

The historical background of Dunkirk is about the evacuation of British and French forces from Western Europe, taking place between the 26th of May and the 4th of June in 1940. Over 300,000 British and French troops were evacuated from the port and beaches of Dunkirk, where the movie gets it’s name.

The execution of this event on the screen is superb, as it focuses on all major aspects of the evacuation; The Mole (beachhead), the Sea and the Air. All three of the scenes take place over different durations of time. The Mole tells the story of all the British and French soldiers on the beach, waiting to be evacuated. The Sea focuses on the 700 civilian boats heading to Dunkirk to evacuate the British soldiers, referred to as “The Little Ships” by Winston Churchill. Finally, The Air focuses on a squadron of three pilots heading to Dunkirk to support the evacuation.  

Overall, the movie itself is excellent, staying mostly with the historical accuracy of the evacuation, ranging from using actual boats used in the evacuation to filming the movie in the town of Dunkirk itself. The combination of Christopher Nolan’s producing along with Hans Zimmer’s nail-biting soundtrack leads to an amazing experience. The movie keeps you reeled in with all the action and suspense all throughout, varying from a pilot crashing his plane into the sea with water rushing into his cockpit, to the multiple air attacks on the ships rescuing the British soldiers.

Dunkirk is one of Nolan’s best movies, grossing in over four times it’s production budget of $100 million at the box office, even though it’s only 107 minutes long. Even some film experts believe that this is 2017’s first big Oscar contender. Notable celebrities such as Harry Styles and Tom Hardy play key roles in the movie, such as Hardy playing the main pilot in the Air portion.

In general, “Dunkirk” was one of summer’s hottest hits in my opinion; I would recommend it to casual moviegoers and to historians like myself. It’s an experience that no other movie of this genre can match.

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Dunkirk: Revolutionizing the War Movie Genre