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Levy Must-Sees: Dunkirk (19/07/2017)

A new thriller from director Christopher Nolan displays the terrors faced by the heroes of Dunkirk for a film audiences will not forget

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Dana Levy is a British-Israeli film critic based in London

‘Dunkirk’ is the latest action thriller by director Christopher Nolan (‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy and ‘Interstellar’) based on the evacuation of British troops from the coast of France at the start of World War II.

The event had a huge impact on the war in Europe, and a deeply felt sentiment for the survivors and heroes of Dunkirk remains to this day.

Set in May 1940, the story unfolds on land, sea and air with thousands of British and Allied troops trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk, surrounded by enemy forces. The soldiers were only 26 miles away from home and safety, but were out of reach of any large British naval rescue ships due to the shallow beach that had a 21-foot tide. A call is sent out for small boats to aid the rescue effort, sparking ‘Operation Dynamo’: a flotilla of non military boats manned by civilians setting sail from the south coast of England to evacuate and bring the soldiers and refugees home safely.

The story initially follows Tommy (newcomer Ffion Whitehead, recently seen in TV drama ‘Him’) as he escapes being shot by the enemy and ends up on Dunkirk beach. In order to survive, Tommy lifts a wounded soldier on a stretcher with the help of Gibson (Aneurin Barnard, ‘Cilla’ and TV drama ‘War & Peace’) in order to fast track the queue of soldiers boarding a rescue boat. Action ensues and they are thrown into the Channel with many others. The pair are rescued along by Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance, ‘Bridge of Spies’ and ‘The BFG’), his son Peter (Newcomer Tom Glynn-Carney, recently seen in ‘Casualty’) and a young helper named George (Barry Keoghan, ‘71’ and ‘Norfolk’), who are manning one of the ‘Operation Dynamo’ boats.

Meanwhile RAF Spitfires whizz above the Channel, trying to protect fellow soldiers below from the enemy fighter plans. Tom Hardy (‘Legend’, ‘Mad Max’ and ‘Inception’) plays Farrier, one of these courageous airmen who never gave up.

The strong and stellar cast also includes Cillian Murphy (‘Inception’ and ‘28 days later’), Harry Styles of ‘One Direction’ and Jack Lowden (Recently seen in ‘Denial’ and TV drama ‘War & Peace’)- each of who play soldiers saved by Mr. Dawson.

This intense and extremely moving film is further heightened by the soundtrack. Throughout the film there is the constant sound of a clock ticking- sometimes accompanied by the whirring hum of plane propellers to add to the suspense. The film is cleverly and skilfully shot with a combination of IMAX and 65mm film, allowing this hugely important story to command the full screen and give the viewer the ultimate immersive experience. It’s a summer blockbuster with a difference - get ready to be swept away.

CAST: Mark Rylance, Ffion Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Glynn-Carney, Harry Styles, Jack Lowden, Kenneth Branagh, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan
DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan
UK RELEASE DATE: 21st July 2017


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