5 Reasons Why Dunkirk Is Nolan's Best Film Yet

5 Reasons Why Dunkirk Is Nolan's Best Film Yet

Nolan has achieved something great by taking a departure from super heroes and science fiction

Christopher Nolan has an interesting resume when it comes to his film making. His first big films, "Memento" and "Insomnia", were dark psychological thrillers. Then Nolan was thrust upon one of the most iconic and well known characters across the globe, Batman. But Nolan did the impossible and created a new kind of super hero movie, one that was realistic, expertly crafted, and changed the landscape of super hero movies forever. "Batman Begins", "The Dark Knight", and "Dark Knight Rises" is a super hero trilogy that may never be dethroned. In between those films we were graced with the complex intrigue of "The Prestige", a film about 2 magicians constantly trying to one-up each other to a lethal degree, and "Inception", a science fiction mind-bending heist movie about planting ideas into people's minds. After all of this Nolan was ready to tackle space in his space epic "Interstellar", where Matthew McConaughey tries to find us a new home. The film's plot and science is divided between viewers but it's beauty is not debated. Many wondered what would come next from Nolan, very few could've imagined it being a World War 2 film.

Here are 5 reasons "Dunkirk" is Nolan's best work yet.

1. The Sound

I should preface this by saying I saw the movie on opening night in a laser IMAX theater, so not quite 70mm, but pretty close to the best way possible to see this movie. Basically it was very big and very loud, and this movie is already very, very loud. But its sound is one reason why "Dunkirk" succeeds so well, and will be the front runner for best sound mixing come award season. From the subtle constant ticking of a stopwatch happening during almost the entire movie emphasizing that time is running out, to the loud hissing of bombs landing overhead, to the thunderous vibrations of torpedoes and bullets ripping boats to shreds. The entire time you are on edge and the sound is the reason why. You're terrified for when the next bullet is coming, when the next bomb will drop, just from the shear volume of it all. It really puts you right alongside the soldiers on screen. So, well done.

2. The Story Is Simple

As opposed to "The Prestige", "Inception", and "Interstellar", the story here is pretty simple. There's no mind-bending plot twists at the end or hard science to wrap your mind around. The story follows three different perspectives: a group of soldiers just trying to survive and make it back home, a small boat run by an Englishman, his son, and his friend as they journey to Dunkirk to save whoever they can, and a British pilot trying to fend off German bombers and planes for as long as his gas tank will let him. The movie jumps periodically between the three, who are all on separate timelines until they all eventually sync up at the end of the movie. It's an easy story to get behind, and although you may know the eventual outcome of the events at Dunkirk, the endings for our characters are never assured until the final minutes. This is not a dialogue heavy movie, everything is said through what happens on the screen.

3. The Un-relentless Tension

In any war movie there are bullets and explosions and people die, but aside from some select films like "Saving Private Ryan", "Jarhead", and "The Hurt Locker", you're never really scared for your protagonists. If they do die, it's in some epic and heroic way where they sacrifice themselves for everyone else by gunning down 50 enemies or blowing up a tank or something that would never actually happen. A lot of war movies just have no stakes, no real consequences, it's just watching America blow shit up and win. Dunkirk could not be any different. Aside from the handful of enemy planes, you never actually see an enemy soldier until literally the final seconds of the movie, and even then they are blurred out. This entire movie is about running away, not fighting. It's about just trying to survive and get off of a beach. No one is ever safe, and our characters face death so many times it is un-relentless, you can never just sit back because you never know what is going to happen next, when the next bomb will fall. It keeps you focused on the screen, and it kept the theater quiet the entire movie. It was quite the experience, and one that I'll never forget.

4. The Cast

Nolan is known to use the same set of actors for many of his movies, including Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine, who are seemingly in every movie he makes. Others include Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, and Joseph Gordon Levitt. He likes to use certain actors multiple times, but aside from Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy, most of the cast here is brand new, including Harry Styles who actually performs very well in this film as a young soldier. Mark Rylance, Fionn Whitehead, and Aneurin Bernard are especially memorable, even though we really only know like 3 characters names in the entire movie. It was a nice change of pace for Nolan to star some lesser known actors (also willing to throw Harry Styles a bone for this incredibly serious and high stakes movie), as opposed to his star powered packed movies like "Inception", "Interstellar", and "The Prestige".

5. It's Totally Different Than All His Other Films

I kind of touched on this before, but "Dunkirk" is truly a step away from all his other movies. Nolan has been known for his complex storytelling mixed with action and mind-bending twists, wrapped in Super Hero logic or science fiction. But this film is completely separate from all of that. It is both a historical movie about a real life event as well as a tense high-octane thriller about a group of boys just trying to survive. Instead of wrapping itself in time travel or invading dreams or magic, it is beautifully simplistic. Is one better than the other? It's hard to say. I would still say films like "Inception" and "Interstellar" may be more entertaining from a story perspective, but "Dunkirk" is so different it's hard to compare it to his other films. It's almost like the perfect blend of a summer blockbuster with the heart and soul of a quiet indie film. It's simplicity yet unending barrage of "Dunkirk" sing, and you would be robbing yourself of a truly unique experience if you wait until this movie is released on DVD to see it. Please see this movie on the biggest, loudest screen possible.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube.com

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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