Christoper Nolan’s Dunkirk is a dramatization of one of the most pivotal moments in World War II. With over 400,000 troops seemingly trapped on the beach of the French port at the mercy of German forces, a massive evacuation took place which was bloody, brutal, and dangerous. The mission resulted in a huge loss of life, but ultimately, 330,00 soldiers were saved.
Nolan will bring all of this to life on the big screen, with an all-star cast that includes Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, James D’Arcy, and Harry Styles. Undoubtedly, Dunkirk has the potential to become a huge hit, and a classic war movie, but eyebrows were raised when it was revealed that Dunkirk will only be rated PG-13.
That said, the rating doesn’t seem to have affected the intensity of the movie, or the emotional impact it will have on an audience. Five minutes of Dunkirk footage screened at CinemaCon, introduced by Nolan, and it received a very impressive reception. THR reports that the footage shown follows several characters during one particular moment in time. In the air, Hardy is in battle as a fighter pilot, while Rylance fights to get a boat out to see to rescue a battleship full of soldiers. Meanwhile, on the ground, two young soldiers are struggling to move an injured comrade over a bridge packed full of soldiers. A ticking sound plays over the footage shown, building towards an explosive climax.
Nolan explained that he wanted the experience to feel real for moviegoers, which is why he chose to tell the story through the eyes of three soldiers. He also added that he’s been wanting to dramatize this important historical moment for some time:
“I wanted to tell the story in the most visceral way possible, I wanted to take that audience and put them on that beach. Dunkirk and the legend of it is something that British people grow up with – it’s in our DNA. The idea of taking this paradoxical situation and putting it on the big screen – it’s something that’s been close to my heart for some time, it’s something I didn’t think I was ready to do.”
Dunkirk has been shot entirely in large format film, and Nolan made sure to point out that the movie will be screened in IMAX film, IMAX digital, 70mm film, 35mm film and Digital Cinema Packages.
Nolan’s name and pedigree, coupled with the historical significance of Dunkirk, means there’s a lot of expectation surrounding this movie. Thus far, it looks as though we won’t be disappointed. Even those hoping for a more adult rating, or more graphic violence, can’t really argue if the movie succeeds in getting across the emotion felt by those in battle.