Dunkirk is a movie telling the story of the evacuation of soldiers as seen through the eyes of British Empire soldiers desperate to survive and make it back home alive. British and French Allied armies was surrounded by the German Army between May 26th – June 01, 1940 during the battle of France in World War II.
Perfectly depicting the dire situation, the opening scene of the movie shows a small group of British soldiers walking the streets of Dunkirk, among fliers raining from the skies. It reads, “We Surround you; Surrender and Survive”
Straight from the opening scene you get a sense for the movie to come, trying to survive will be the goal, and while trying to survive difficult decisions will be made out of desperation. Many WW2 films show the difficulties of war, but Dunkirk presents many situations that show a unique ugliness that is difficult for soldiers who experience such things to explain. In these soldiers we follow during this movie are desperately trying everything they can, but at every turn the German army destroys their means of escape. This forces these men to contemplate what are they willing to do just to survive.
The movie is as much a Soldier bio pic, as it is a war movie. Although the movie does focus on a few actual action points, you as a viewer get to experience them from several view points. A particularly well done moment in the movie is when a British airman finds himself shot down and makes a landing in the sea. Not only do we experience the lead up to the moment he is shot down, but we see the moment from the other pilot flying along side him, as well as the perspective of the pilot himself trying to land the plane and survive. Most movies would cut the story line there and move onto over story lines for the film, but we continue the experience through his eyes as he now has to watch him fellow British airman attempt an air battle to shoot down a German plane circling above them who is attempting to bomb the British vessels below. During this entire exchange you see the struggle of the British pilot who is still flying above the area make decisions to try and save those stranded in the sea below, not realizing that his actions to save them are going to cause further problems. This is the reality of war where split second decisions must be made. When he does not engage the German plane fast enough and decides to pursue a different target, the next scene shows a British vessel sinking and survivors having to abandon ship. During war it is impossible to know what the actual outcome is going to be, but you just make the best choice you can at that moment, with the knowledge you have to make the decision with.
Dunkirk is a beautifully shot movie that does a good job depicting the brave Allied soldiers, and the civilians who help rescue these trapped soldiers in their regular boats. If you have not watched this film, check it out and comment below what you thought was the best part of the movie.