“Dunkirk” has blown the box office out of the water. According to the New York Times, the film had extraordinary success on its opening weekend, amassing $50.5 million in North America and another $55.4 million from overseas viewers.
What makes “Dunkirk” a masterpiece? Here are four notable details that makes the film refreshingly original compared to other war films.
1. There’s No Concocted Love Story
“Dunkirk” sticks to the realms of its history: war, retreat, the strife of its boy soldiers, and the citizens trying to save them. There is no love-story plot because the writers focused their energy on portraying one of the world’s most famous war-time evacuations instead. They didn’t throw in a war-time romance because it would take away from the main story, and would likely resonate with the audience as concocted plot-piece. In this case, the “Dunkirk” writers realized less was more, and the film triumphs with its 100% focus on the battles at hand and the soldiers attempting escape.
2. The Heroics Are Found in Loss
The film does an accurate job of chronicling the human struggle to survive, presenting it with depth and reality. Heroics portrayed do not feature sensational scenes of winning a battle or an invincible character waging war; rather, the film’s narrative sticks true to history and is all about the soldiers facing horrorsnand trying to run away from them. The soldiers at Dunkirk did not win in any way except in their survival, which later proved to be absolutely key to the success of England in the Second World War. Their escape preserved their army, the army that later successfully defended England from invasion, preventing the ultimate defeat of Europe.
“Dunkirk” also shows the brave acts of ordinary people and how those can make all the difference in testing times. English citizens aided the soldiers in their private boats, facing constant danger. The portrayal of ordinary people committing acts of valor accentuates the story’s message of bravery in the face of loss and survival in humanity’s darkest times.
3. Screen Time is Given to Three Merging Perspectives
“Dunkirk” opens up with three words against a black background: Air, Sea, and Land. The film uses these three different perspectives to give viewers cut-in, cut-out action scenes, shifting from each realm of war and the characters within them. This technique wraps the film together, keeping the audiences on the edge of their seats while simultaneously exploring all the experiences on each front of the war.
4. The Psychological Effects Are More Fear-Invoking Than Excessive Gore
There is little gore in “Dunkirk.” Instead of bloody limbs flying everywhere, viewers are treated to psychological fear, with distress playing on the faces of each soldier. Audiences feel the terror, despair, and utter horror along with them. Watching an English pilot dodge German attacks or soldiers jumping ship into the freezing water is more terrifying than blood splashing the camera.