It was on Saturday that Mrs. Catcher and I took the train to the imax cinema to see Dunkirk. It is quite a journey so we made a night of it and came back the next day – I do like a road trip!
Why did I want to see it? I wanted to consider the current interpretation of this incredible feat of humanity with what I know is the truth. I was preparing to walk out half way, to probably burst a blood vessel and dial 999 right there in the cinema.
The truth is, I did none of these things.
I watched the trailer previously. A full 5 minute single shot scene that made me think that above all else, this will be a cinematic spectacle whether I love or hate it.
I won’t enter the story as that is for you to see but it is cleverly laid out. It takes the point of view of those at sea, on the ground and in the air.
It is harsh in its reality. No pinging noises for gunfire, this is a brutal and realistic (I think) recreation of how it was for a couple of individuals. It didn’t have the character infighting that I thought it might as I envisaged it to be a modern ‘anti war’ war film. Of course, there are funnies and errors but what they have managed to recreate and film without (AFAIK) any CGI or computer bugger-around-ness is breathtaking – most aircraft are real.
It puts the viewer in the position of the soldiers, seaman and airman from the first moment; this old boy’s heart was beating at a healthy rate throughout such was the way you were immersed in the struggle.
I’ll overlook the consant bag rustling and the bloke in front of me that started blubbing 5 minutes in – there must have been some familial story here – but these things only distracted me for a short time as I was there.
What about the naysayers? Well, every film has its critics. Yes, there were predominantly white faces which is because the beaches were filled with predominantly white people. Yes the cast was almost all male and that’s because the beaches were filled with people who were almost all male. The only white, male privilige I saw was the honour of fighting for a foreign country only to be stranded and go through absolute hell whilst hoping you could return home in one piece and then undergo a terror filled journey whilst carrying nothing more than a gamut of emotions centred around fear and failure.
Ignore the rubbish spouted by those that detest the vindication of British and Commonwealth hardiness – it’s pure fucking hubris and no more.
I loved this film, it has very little dialogue and I only noticed this after the film but that’s because it just doesn’t need it.
I’ve often tried to sum up an entire film in one word. Every twist, turn, emotion, nuance and image that I have taken from it and I have always failed but not this time. The only word that sprung to mind as I walked out of the cinema was ‘Brexit’. It may sound stupid or crass but that’s how I felt on the way home.
Do try and see this film if you can, it is very much worth the effort and those that created this film deserve to go on to greater things.
© Rat Catcher 2017