Tag Archives: Christopher Nolan

Dunkirk

Dunkirk_Film_poster

Christopher Nolan is back once more, this time with World War 2 drama Dunkirk. But is it worth all the hype and Oscar talk it’s been getting?

As British soldiers prepare to evacuate from Dunkirk in 1940 we follow three stories; one with the troops on the beach, one with a civilian boat on its way to Dunkirk and another from the perspective of the Spitfire pilots in the air.

I’ve long been a fan of Nolan’s work, even Interstellar which I wasn’t as enamoured with still had Nolan’s great direction, so I’m pleased to say Dunkirk is another triumph for the visionary director.  Splitting the three narratives in slightly different time frames can sometimes be confusing but for the most part the three stories are smoothly interwoven. Luckily all three narratives are gripping so you never feel you’re missing out by going back and forth between the stories.

Having seen the film in IMAX helped the feeling of immersion into the action. Whether it’s the thrilling chase in the clouds or the overwhelming struggle for survival on the ground you feel in the thick of the battle.

As we are dropped into the characters viewpoint there is little time to get to know much about these people we’re following. While it is a little disappointed we don’t know much about them on the other hand it would appear that Nolan’s intention is to give you a small bit of what the soldiers are feeling. There’s no time for back story when everyone is just trying to make it out alive. One of the strongest elements of the movie is that it allows you to emphasise with the complete desperation that the soldiers are feeling. That need to survive is something that comes across all the soldiers. They don’t feel brave or proud, they just want to make it home. For this reason Nolan’s film is one of the best to deal with that desperation and the dark places it can take you to. The soldiers here are not categorized as bad or good, just men on the edge who have seen too much too young and want to get out.

Dunkirk is not a war film about victory in a traditional sense. It’s victory is in how many people managed to survive in what was considered at the time a hopeless situation. There’s a few scenes which discuss cowardly behaviour but Nolan reverses these issues back at us asking would you really be any different in this situation?

Rating 4/5 powerful and compelling, this is Nolan’s best shot at an Oscar yet and a worthy one at that

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

The Dark Knight Rises

Image

There aren’t many movie sequels that live up to the original. There are even fewer trilogies that make the grade. Seriously, I can only think of The Bourne series and the Indiana Jones films as examples where the quality has been maintained the whole way through. Can Christopher Nolan’s latest Batman film join that elusive list?

For those who don’t know The Dark Knight Rises is set 8 years after the events of The Dark Knight. After Harvey Kent’s death has been blamed on Batman, Gotham has been relatively crime free, while Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has hung up his cape and is living like a recluse. Threatening Gotham’s new found peace is Anne Hathaway’s morally ambiguous Selina Kyle (aka Catwoman, although she’s never called that on screen) and Tom Hardy’s villainous Bane.

I’m a big fan of Nolan’s work as a director. As with Inception and the previous Batman films Nolan isn’t afraid to mix intelligent films with high entertainment value, and The Dark Knight Rises doesn’t disappoint. Nolan gives us dramatic car chases, fights and most memorably Gotham’s football stadium imploding on itself. But the audience is also treated to discussions on state responsibility and tensions between the haves-and have not’s.

Whereas most trilogy fail by introducing too many new characters to the mix (looking at you Spiderman 3) the characters slip effortlessly into Nolan’s world and serve a purpose to the plot instead of feeling shoehorned in. Finally Nolan gives us a strong female character in Selina Kyle, she brings a sense of fun sometimes missing in the Batman series and her quips bring plenty of laughs to the screen. Also making a great debute to the Batman series is Joseph Gordon-Levitt as police officer John Blake who gives the film heart as he encourages Bruce Wayne to come back into action.

The film’s main antagonist Bane is a good opponent for Batman to end his trilogy with. He is a mix of brawn and brains, showing he is more than a match for Bruce Wayne as shown in their brutal first fight together. Wayne has been out of the crime fighting game for a while and having gathered various injuries, Bane knows how to use those weakness against him and comes across as a credible threat to Gotham’s stability.

There are a few downsides to the film. Michael Cane’s Alfred doesn’t have as much screen times as in the earlier films, and the romance between Bruce Wayne and Marion Cotillard’s Miranda Tate is dull with little chemistry between the two. There’s much more spark in his encounters with Catwoman. Although Tom Hardy is great as Bane, he has a distracting and sometimes inaudible voice that’s almost as irritating as the voice Bale puts on for Batman. Was there a secret bet going on as to who had the more ridiculous voice?

There is more I want to comment on in this film but it does involve huge spoilers which I wouldn’t want to ruin for anyone else. But there were moments in this film which made my inner fan girl scream with delight. A good film to end on.

4/5

About as brutal and serious as a blockbuster gets, Nolan’s Dark Crusader will be missed.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews