When you decide to spend your Saturday evening in the cinema, picking a movie can be tough. Modern cinema means you have to pick a film and you might even have to choose between 2D and 3D. Going to see Dunkirk was an easy choice given the rave reviews it’s been getting. It’s only available in 2D, so that was easy, but it is available to watch in standard cinemas, IMAX and 70mm. Why do decisions have to be so hard?
Dunkirk: A Spoiler Free Review
I’m going to dive into Dunkirk without spoiling anything for you, even though it is based on a true story, so history buffs have already had it spoiled.
Dunkirk in a Nutshell
Don’t let the name fool you. Dunkirk refers to a coastal town in France by the name of Dunkerque. In 1940, Germany had secured much of mainland Europe. As they advanced in France, German troops trapped Allied forces on Dunkirk beach. Christopher Nolan’s movie picks up with the men on the beaches awaiting evacuation.
One thing you should be prepared for before taking your seat for Dunkirk is the film takes a multi-timeline approach to telling its story.
Why You Should See Dunkirk
Christopher Nolan has created some modern-day masterpieces and Dunkirk is another. Nolan’s depiction of war is not one which glorifies heroes. Instead, it shows how war is little more than a collection of people being extremely human. Despite this focus on humanity in a war situation, Nolan’s Dunkirk strips the majority of the movie’s cast of that humanity. I went through the cast of the film and found 87% of the characters in the movie are never named. In war, soldiers are reduced to little more than statistics.
Nolan’s Dunkirk wanted to bring home the realities of war, something often attempted but rarely achieved. Which brings me onto the biggest question cinema goers are asking.
You Should See Dunkirk in IMAX
Nolan returned to IMAX cameras for Dunkirk, equipment he previously used for Interstellar. The director’s goal was to create a cinematic sensation which he describes as
virtual reality without the goggles
Goal achieved. Dunkirk is visually stunning, but the for me the audio completed the experience.
The sheer volume of the gunfire made cinema goers jump in unison. People were visually uncomfortable with the volume of gunshots and diving fighters. I couldn’t help but appreciate Nolan’s effort to rip you out of your seat and place you in a hopeless war setting. The tension that builds up in nothing short of incredible.
Is Dunkirk Worth Seeing in a Normal Cinema?
All the fancy cameras in the world won’t make up for a crap film. In its own right, Dunkirk is a fantastic movie. Dunkirk was a miracle of deliverance, the perfect foundation for a story. I’m rather shocked it’s taken this long to make the big screen.
If you can, make the trek to Cineworld in Dublin and view Dunkirk in IMAX. Failing that, the Irish Film Institute is showing the movie in 70mm, which will offer 70% of the IMAX experience along with the charm of gritty, non-digital footage. Most importantly, if you’re outside Dublin, just get to the cinema and watch Dunkirk. It’s a harrowing true-story that’ll make you appreciate growing up during peaceful times.