Rating: 4.5 out of 5

4.5 Robert Downey Heads

Before the start of each year, I already take note of the movies to watch out for in the next 12 months. Naturally this includes big superhero movies like “Wonder Woman” (which was great) and other franchise-starter movies like “The Mummy” (which was not so great). Siyempre kapag may John Lloyd movie na naka-schedule for the year, automatic kasama na yun! Si Lloydie yun e! But out of all the movies on my list, Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” has to be the one that I’ve been most eagerly awaiting.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything director and visionary Christopher Nolan has done in the past and I’m happy to say that “Dunkirk” is no different. “Dunkirk” offers a fresh take on the war movie genre and will have you clutching the armrests of your seat literally from start to finish. Bawal uminom ng kape bago manuod ng “Dunkirk”, baka atakihin ka ng nerbyos!

Gripping From Start to Finish

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“Teka ano tong malagkit sa balikat ko… t****na naman nitong ibon na to e!”

“Dunkirk” tells the story of the evacuation of Allied soldiers stranded on the beaches of France during World War II in the coastal town of Dunkirk. Around 400,000 British and French soldiers were cornered by the German army with only a few days to escape before they get annihilated. What follows is an evacuation like we’ve never seen with civilian boats being called on to cross the English Channel to save the remaining Allied troops. And what’s great about “Dunkirk” is that it takes just 2 minutes to tell us all this and goes straight into the action.  From there, the movie plays out just like a Game 7 in the NBA Finals kung saan tambak yung team mo ng bente pero tumitira mula half court si Steph Curry so baka may pag-asa pa! (Sorry Cavs fans, Warriors ako nung Finals)

As Christopher Nolan movies go, “Dunkirk” might be the most straightforward in terms of plot. Walang umiikot na jackstone sa dulo ng movie para pag-isipin ka kung totoo yung napanuod mo o panaginip lang ni DiCaprio at wala ring eksena na pag-iisipin ka kung namatay ba si Batman at imagination lang ng dakilang alalay na si Alfred yung napapanuod mo. The Allied forces were trapped on the beaches, waiting to be rescued while the German forces consistently dropped bombs on them. Isipin mo pasakay kayo ng bangka papuntang Boracay tapos may mga ibon na naglalaglag ng ipot sa inyo maya’t maya. Badtrip di ba? Ngayon palitan mo yung mga ibon ng Germans tapos yung ipot gawin mong bomba. O di ba mas badtrip?

A New Breed Of War Movie

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Kung nagustuhan mo yung Titanic nung lumubog na yung barko at hindi dahil drinawing ni Leo si Kate, magugustuhan mo tong Dunkirk.

But since it’s a Nolan film, don’t expect it to be your typical war movie either.  First of all, it’s not the conventional war movie in the sense that you don’t have two armies facing off against each other. “Dunkirk” is a story about an evacuation and survival during the most perilous of times. In that sense, it’s probably closer to the story of the Exodus rather than war movies like “Saving Private Ryan”. And unlike war movies like “Saving Private Ryan” and “Hacksaw Ridge” which focused on the gruesomeness of war with blood and severed limbs flying everywhere, you won’t find scenes like that in “Dunkirk”. Wala kang makikita na mga sundalong umiiyak na hawak hawak yung isaw at balun-balunan nila.

But that doesn’t make “Dunkirk” less terrifying than any of the war movies that came before it. In fact, you can actually argue that “Dunkirk” is even scarier than previous war movies by virtue of the fact that the British were literally sitting ducks on that beach just waiting to die. Nolan tells the story of “Dunkirk” using three perspectives: the soldiers on the beach waiting to be evacuated, the fighter pilots in the sky defending the men on the ground, and the civilians in the sea coming to the rescue of the soldiers. And what’s even more amazing is how these stories unfold in different time-frames but Nolan found a way to weave them together in ways you’d least expect.

Who Knew Harry Styles Could Act?!

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Who knew this guy could act?! Dati kilala ko lang si Harry Styles bilang yung member ng One Direction na sabog ang buhok e!

Frequent Nolan collaborators like Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy are just some of the great actors that are in the movie. Tom Hardy (kung saan natatakpan nanaman ang mukha niya at hindi mo nanaman maintindihan ang sinasabi niya) is as bad ass as he’s ever been in the role of a Farrier, a fighter pilot who guns down German bombers from the sky. Cillian Murphy plays a soldier who is the sole survivor when a ship he’s on was torpedoed by a German U-boat. Academy Award Winner Mark Rylance is Mr. Dawson, a civilian ship captain who comes to the aid of the British soldiers across the channel.

Fionn Whitehead, Damien Bonnard, and Harry Styles play some of the young soldiers stuck on the beaches of Dunkirk. While all of them gave impressive performances, it was Harry Styles who was a revelation. Yes, si Harry Styles ng One Direction na crush ng bata mong kapatid. Si Harry Styles na kumanta ng “That’s What Makes You Beautiful” yung kinakanta mo patago sa banyo pag naliligo ka. Don’t get me wrong, Harry Styles won’t be winning any acting awards anytime soon. But nobody really expected him to do well. He was actually surprisingly pretty convincing in this one. (The same way na magugulat ka na magaling daw pala kumanta si James Reid lalo na kung ang alam mo lang na kanta niya ay yung Milo Energy Gap)

The Greatest Moral Victory in History

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Bane… Mad Max… bakit ba lahat ng roles ni Tom Hardy nakatakip ang bibig niya?!

The world could have turned out differently if not for the brave men and women at Dunkirk. I could be writing this whole review in German instead of a mix of English and Tagalog (Imbis na Taglish naging Tagdeutsche? Parang ang sagwa!) and instead of celebrating an evacuation, we could be celebrating the destruction of the Allied forces instead. What’s great about “Dunkirk” is that it’s able to convey that there is courage in defeat; that there’s something commendable about merely surviving. The events at Dunkirk took place during the start of World War II and it would take 5 more years for the war to end. Simula pa lang yan ng hirap nila, pero kita mo sa pelikula kung gaano kahirap yung mabuhay ka lang sa gitna ng mga nangyayari noon.

Christopher Nolan and the actors were able to show all that with movie that hardly has any dialogue. Seryoso, mabibilang mo siguro kung ilan yung linya ng dialogue sa pelikula e. Instead of words, what we got as an unrelenting score by composer Hans Zimmer. But you could argue that it was just as effective in conveying emotion; probably even more so. Simply put, “Dunkirk” is a masterful display of filmmaking and is quite simply one of the best movies of the year.

 

All photos courtesy of WARNER BROS. PICTURES.

Dunkirk” is now showing in cinemas everywhere

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