dmc515

Dunkirk (Spoilers)

63 posts in this topic

45 minutes ago, Corvinus said:

Nope, not really. The only time you see Germans are right there at the end, and they're out of focus, and the Luftwaffe planes. I saw one analysis of the movie that said that the enemy was time itself, and there was no need to show enemy soldiers. 

Yep.  Time is the antagonist - just listen to the score!

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3 minutes ago, The Drunkard said:

Probably my favourite Nolan movie after the Prestige. 

The Prestige is easily his most underrated movie.

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20 hours ago, dmc515 said:

The Prestige is easily his most underrated movie.

Accurate. 

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21 hours ago, dmc515 said:

Yep.  Time is the antagonist - just listen to the score!

Thats a good point. Nolan seems mostly preoccupied with building tension and playing with time rather than creating an enemy.

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I thought it was fantastic. What an immersive experience. Saw it in IMAX. Like others, the dogfights stand out as being stunning without any of the chaotic nature you see in every other aerial battle. I loved how sparse the dialogue was, how the score drove the narrative and how the cinematography was shot.

My only complaint was the kid being pushed down the stairs on Mark Rylance's boat. I thought that was completely unnecessary. I also thought they could have focused a little more on the people on the beach but I guess given 300k people survive, they weren't the ones going through the hell of the ships being destroyed. We saw in the beginning the diving planes and have to assume that's what they faced for the most part.

My wife thought it was a masterpiece. She was enraptured from beginning to end.

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I saw it twice. Loved it from beginning to end but it was such an unorthodox film I had to go again to make sure that it was actually good and I wasn't letting fangirl bias cloud my vision. 

I came to share my findings (it's a masterpiece) but was put off by people in the watching thread complaining about poor characterization, thereby missing the point.

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Hmmm I tried very hard,  but I was very disappointed. I even fall asleep somewhere...

Bl@#%***dy trailers, can't trust them. But for Mr. Nolan, I will give it another chance! 

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Posted (edited)

It was shot beautifully, the action scenes in it were shot well and the acting in it was pretty solid, but I still was disappointed with it. Not that I didn't enjoy what was shown, but I do have my issues with it.

I was really disappointed with how it wasn't as realistic as Nolan tried to paint it as. It's pretty white washed and ignores the soldiers from the french colonies of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia etc as well as ignoring the soldiers from India and a racialised pecking order that those soldiers of color had to deal with that determined life and death. It also ignored how some of the UK’s merchant sailors were also Indian, which means it was very likely they would have been present in the merchant ships that were used in the evacuation from Dunkirk.

I guess being very realistic and showing soldiers of color and the racism they had to endure would have been an inconvenient fact that showed even though Britain was fighting fascism in the name of freedom, it was also an imperialistic government with some harsh tendencies placed upon the hundreds of the societies around the world that they were dominating at the time.

I was also pretty disappointed how it barely acknowledged the French, and when it did, it didn't really portray them in the best light and kind of played upon negative stereotypes and ignored the part they played in the evacuation having as many men get out as it did. 

To me it was a white washed English circle jerk that ignores other important contributors that helped the evacuation go the way it did. It could have been so much more groundbreaking by telling these stories. Another hour, hour and a half of such content would have been fine and added much more to the film.

Edited by Sword of Doom

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6 hours ago, Sword of Doom said:

It was shot beautifully, the action scenes in it were shot well and the acting in it was pretty solid, but I still was disappointed with it. Not that I didn't enjoy what was shown, but I do have my issues with it.

I was really disappointed with how it wasn't as realistic as Nolan tried to paint it as. It's pretty white washed and ignores the soldiers from the french colonies of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia etc as well as ignoring the soldiers from India and a racialised pecking order that those soldiers of color had to deal with that determined life and death. It also ignored how some of the UK’s merchant sailors were also Indian, which means it was very likely they would have been present in the merchant ships that were used in the evacuation from Dunkirk.

I guess being very realistic and showing soldiers of color and the racism they had to endure would have been an inconvenient fact that showed even though Britain was fighting fascism in the name of freedom, it was also an imperialistic government with some harsh tendencies placed upon the hundreds of the societies around the world that they were dominating at the time.

I was also pretty disappointed how it barely acknowledged the French, and when it did, it didn't really portray them in the best light and kind of played upon negative stereotypes and ignored the part they played in the evacuation having as many men get out as it did. 

To me it was a white washed English circle jerk that ignores other important contributors that helped the evacuation go the way it did. It could have been so much more groundbreaking by telling these stories. Another hour, hour and a half of such content would have been fine and added much more to the film.

The movie concentrated on the British soldiers. That's what it was about.

what percentage of British soldiers at Dunkirk were Indian?

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1 hour ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

The movie concentrated on the British soldiers. That's what it was about.

what percentage of British soldiers at Dunkirk were Indian?

I'm well aware, which is clearly the issue I take with it since more than the British were involved. 

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40 minutes ago, Sword of Doom said:

I'm well aware, which is clearly the issue I take with it since more than the British were involved. 

I'm sorry that's just pandering to political correctness in the face of reality. Dunkirk is a primarily British story, the majority of soldiers evacuated were British, as were most of the ships that came to get them. There is no reason to go against that reality.

Of course the French were involved and that was mentioned and shown in the movie. Other nations such as the polish player a small role too. But where is the sense in trying to please every single person on the planet. 

Mentioning the Indians is bizarre considering there were maybe a handful involved in the the European campaign. 

I think more than anything you have completely missed what Nolan was setting out to achieve by stating that the moving should be another hour and a half longer to include other nationalities. The movie is a fantastic example of creating and building tension. It had me on the edge of my seat. Dragging it out another hour just so those who are looking for offence in every corner would destroy everything the movie achieved 

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The thing is, most of your criticisms would have required Nolan making a film different to the one he made to answer. You say 'another hour, hour and a half' as if doubling the length of your movie is a  tiny thing. Nolan was deliberately making a movie of very narrow focus, and while it's fine that that's not for everyone, not every film has to be taking on all the issues of the world, or should be.

Like, putting an Indian soldier in there and telling a little bit of his story, that might have been possible and I could see an argument that you could have enhanced the film by so doing, but everything else you mention about the French, Algerian etc, doing that would have necessiated making it into a far more sprawling, more traditional war film and that's just not what Nolan was going for.

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Posted (edited)

10 minutes ago, polishgenius said:

Like, putting an Indian soldier in there and telling a little bit of his story, that might have been possible and I could see an argument that you could have enhanced the film by so doing

I'm not convinced by this criticism, I think it's just the go to criticism of any film at the moment. Of course the Indian Army were significantly involved in WW2 but it wasn't part of the BEF in France. At most you'd be talking about a handful of men amongst hundreds of thousands, not showing them in the film is hardly 'whitewashing'. 

As for the French, obviously the focus of a film about Dunkirk is going to focus on the British but there were French soldiers shown in it, one of whom appeared was black if iirc. I don't see the issue.

ETA: Also the French weren't shown in a universally good light, which is fair enough, but other than the RAF the only ones shown fighting the Germans were French soldiers. The French guy who disguises himself to escape is also shown saving people's lives.

Edited by ljkeane

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Posted (edited)

10 hours ago, Sword of Doom said:

It was shot beautifully, the action scenes in it were shot well and the acting in it was pretty solid, but I still was disappointed with it. Not that I didn't enjoy what was shown, but I do have my issues with it.

I was really disappointed with how it wasn't as realistic as Nolan tried to paint it as. It's pretty white washed and ignores the soldiers from the french colonies of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia etc as well as ignoring the soldiers from India and a racialised pecking order that those soldiers of color had to deal with that determined life and death. It also ignored how some of the UK’s merchant sailors were also Indian, which means it was very likely they would have been present in the merchant ships that were used in the evacuation from Dunkirk.

I guess being very realistic and showing soldiers of color and the racism they had to endure would have been an inconvenient fact that showed even though Britain was fighting fascism in the name of freedom, it was also an imperialistic government with some harsh tendencies placed upon the hundreds of the societies around the world that they were dominating at the time.

I was also pretty disappointed how it barely acknowledged the French, and when it did, it didn't really portray them in the best light and kind of played upon negative stereotypes and ignored the part they played in the evacuation having as many men get out as it did. 

To me it was a white washed English circle jerk that ignores other important contributors that helped the evacuation go the way it did. It could have been so much more groundbreaking by telling these stories. Another hour, hour and a half of such content would have been fine and added much more to the film.

I understand your POV. You wanted to see a different movie. That's fair. But that's not the movie Nolan wanted to make. Maybe someone will make a more comprehensive, historically accurate movie that focuses on every element of the evacuation of Dunkirk and market it as such. Seems a worthy ambition. Nolan, however, wanted to make a movie from a few POVs of a bunch of soldiers fighting for survival while trying to get off that beach and he wanted to do it with as limited amount of dialogue as possible. In that he succeeded.

Is there more to the story? Absolutely. We don't see much of what's going on at the beach, we don't focus on the French, we don't focus on the politics back in England/France, we don't focus on the people keeping up the perimeter and fighting the Germans nor do we focus on German soliders/high command and their thoughts as they push forward. Lots more to tell and if Nolan was trying to tell the complete story (or even marketed telling that story), he would have failed. But he never did so I'm happy with what we got; a more intimate look at a few different stories that showed themes of the evacuation (survival, rescue, courage, sacrifice, PTSD) that those soldiers experienced.

Edited by Mexal

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7 hours ago, Mexal said:

I understand your POV. You wanted to see a different movie. That's fair. But that's not the movie Nolan wanted to make. Maybe someone will make a more comprehensive, historically accurate movie that focuses on every element of the evacuation of Dunkirk and market it as such. Seems a worthy ambition. Nolan, however, wanted to make a movie from a few POVs of a bunch of soldiers fighting for survival while trying to get off that beach and he wanted to do it with as limited amount of dialogue as possible. In that he succeeded.

Is there more to the story? Absolutely. We don't see much of what's going on at the beach, we don't focus on the French, we don't focus on the politics back in England/France, we don't focus on the people keeping up the perimeter and fighting the Germans nor do we focus on German soliders/high command and their thoughts as they push forward. Lots more to tell and if Nolan was trying to tell the complete story (or even marketed telling that story), he would have failed. But he never did so I'm happy with what we got; a more intimate look at a few different stories that showed themes of the evacuation (survival, rescue, courage, sacrifice, PTSD) that those soldiers experienced.

Nolan is such a big name and has some huge movies behind him, he wouldn't have failed, at least from a financial stand point. 

I'm not sure how him making the movie he wanted negates any of the criticisms of the film I have put forth regarding the White washing of the film or the lack of acknowledgement of the french. Im aware of the film he wanted to make. I take issue with it.  A bit more dialogue could have addressed the french and what they were doing and would allow him to stay with the points of view he wanted. People of color being in the back drop could have helped it not being white washed the way it was. 

 

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Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, ljkeane said:

I'm not convinced by this criticism, I think it's just the go to criticism of any film at the moment. Of course the Indian Army were significantly involved in WW2 but it wasn't part of the BEF in France. At most you'd be talking about a handful of men amongst hundreds of thousands, not showing them in the film is hardly 'whitewashing'. 

As for the French, obviously the focus of a film about Dunkirk is going to focus on the British but there were French soldiers shown in it, one of whom appeared was black if iirc. I don't see the issue.

ETA: Also the French weren't shown in a universally good light, which is fair enough, but other than the RAF the only ones shown fighting the Germans were French soldiers. The French guy who disguises himself to escape is also shown saving people's lives.

There were Indian soldiers in France and that were evacuated out of Dunkirk. 

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2000/nov/08/patrickwintour

Yea, one of my other criticisms wasn't about the lack of french soliders in the  film and how when they were shown / acknowledged, it wasn't in the best light.

 

The Indian soldiers that were at Dunkirk were made early up of mostly Muslims from the areas of British controlled India that would became Pakistan as we know today. They were part of the Royal India Army Service Corps, transport companies that would sail from Bombay to Marseille. They had brought hundreds of mules with them like it was requested by the Allies in France thanks to the shortage of other means of transport. They played a pretty key role in transporting equipment and supplies.

 

I disagree with saying that if Nolan was to include them it would be just another typical war movie. It would have one, helped to stop the false narrative that Britain stood alone. Two, it would have acknowledged that people of color did fight for the allies in World War II, especially for Britain, and three it could have stopped the black and white good guys vs bad guys narrative many try to push regarding World War II and actually painted it with the shades of grey that the real world exists in. 

To me that is far more revolutionary and brave story telling than having minimalists dialouge. 

 

Edited by Sword of Doom

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3 minutes ago, Sword of Doom said:

There were Indian soldiers in France and that were evacuated out of Dunkirk.

A few hundred out of the over three hundred thousand soldiers evacuated from Dunkirk. If you think not having a depiction of that particular tiny percentage of the BEF is whitewashing I don't know what to tell you.

Look you clearly want to see a film about Indian soldiers in the Second World War; that's fine and it could be a good film but it's not this film and Dunkirk would be a fairly odd choice of subject for that film anyway. As Mexal said your main issue seems to be Nolan didn't make the film you want made.

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1 hour ago, Sword of Doom said:

There were Indian soldiers in France and that were evacuated out of Dunkirk. 

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2000/nov/08/patrickwintour

Yea, one of my other criticisms wasn't about the lack of french soliders in the  film and how when they were shown / acknowledged, it wasn't in the best light.

 

The Indian soldiers that were at Dunkirk were made early up of mostly Muslims from the areas of British controlled India that would became Pakistan as we know today. They were part of the Royal India Army Service Corps, transport companies that would sail from Bombay to Marseille. They had brought hundreds of mules with them like it was requested by the Allies in France thanks to the shortage of other means of transport. They played a pretty key role in transporting equipment and supplies.

 

I disagree with saying that if Nolan was to include them it would be just another typical war movie. It would have one, helped to stop the false narrative that Britain stood alone. Two, it would have acknowledged that people of color did fight for the allies in World War II, especially for Britain, and three it could have stopped the black and white good guys vs bad guys narrative many try to push regarding World War II and actually painted it with the shades of grey that the real world exists in. 

To me that is far more revolutionary and brave story telling than having minimalists dialouge. 

 

thing is world war 2 really was the last war you could possibly suggest had a real 'good vs bad' element to it. But at the same time there's been a huge wave of revisionism in war movies for decades, I can't think of many recent war movies that don't make efforts to show the human side of all combatants. 

Dunkirk is hardly jingoistic or propaganda. But even if it was I would be totally fine with a movie that actually had something good to say about being Britain for once 

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27 minutes ago, Channel4s-JonSnow said:

thing is world war 2 really was the last war you could possibly suggest had a real 'good vs bad' element to it.



There was definitely a worse side to WW2 but that's not to say that the allies didn't do some really, really shitty things too. Obviously Sword of Doom's insinuation that this never gets talked about is inaccurate, but certainly WW2 is the one filmmakers go to most often if they want a bit of war adventurism.
Which isn't to say that that's what Dunkirk is. It's not even played as 'black and white' because the Germans aren't played as bad or given any personality at all, they're presented, narratively, as basically a force of nature. It's not without justification that quite a few people have called this a survival or disaster movie.

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1 hour ago, polishgenius said:



There was definitely a worse side to WW2 but that's not to say that the allies didn't do some really, really shitty things too. Obviously Sword of Doom's insinuation that this never gets talked about is inaccurate, but certainly WW2 is the one filmmakers go to most often if they want a bit of war adventurism.
Which isn't to say that that's what Dunkirk is. It's not even played as 'black and white' because the Germans aren't played as bad or given any personality at all, they're presented, narratively, as basically a force of nature. It's not without justification that quite a few people have called this a survival or disaster movie.

Exactly, they don't even show the Germans in the movie. That's actually quite a clever move by Nolan. 

But as I said WW2 features the Nazis and Hitler, it's hard to really say many good things about those guys.

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