Saturday, 5 August 2017

Dunkirk (*spoilers*)

Supposedly we've over the worse of heatwave, but it's still fairly painful.. I got ill two days ago, when it seemed like the weather will get the better of me ... but I'm fine. To get over the worst bit, G and I drove to the early-afternoon screening of Dunkirk. Those were blissful few hours of an ACed shelter - until we had to exit and get back to the car on an asphalt parking lot.. It felt like being bitchslapped by a burning plank.

Anyhoo. The movie. For all the stuff said about it, this was actually a really good movie. First one this year so highly praised I actually liked. It could have been a lot longer, but kudos to the makers for a PG-13 rating - meaning for every bomb dropped you don't get a shower of intestines every time. The worst bits were screams - so, audio - and very rarely actual terrible stuff happening to those poor people. I counted two haunting screams that continue to resonate with me: when a man is crushed against the mole by a sinking ship; the screams of a man who has to come up for air while the water is covered in burning oil, and lots of imagery of people drowning, of course :/

There are several questions I still need answering, like
- why did 400.000 heavily armed soldiers just stand on a beach for a week instead of fortifying the city while waiting for the boats? They had anti-aircraft artilery, didn't they?
- What if someone found four cans of mustard gas and  dropped it on them while they just stood?they couldn't know at the time Hitler dreaded use of nerve gasses...
- why did the pilot at the end choose to land away from the beach and thus effectively got himself killed by Germans, instead of parachuting out of the plane on the edge of the evacuation and join the escaping soldiers? (why did the previous guy do the exact same - landed on water instead of parachuting down?)
 - Why everyone would leave their helmets behind... Ye, because they were THAT untrained (they were. Also in shock - they thought they will go in to win and they got defeated faster than they could blink...)
- Why a crashing pilot would CLOSE the canopy?
- Was the third pilot SUPPOSED to be some sort of spiritual reference to the old man's dead son?

By refusing to allow the three swimming soldiers onto the boats, the commander, later part of another narrative, effectively saves their lives - as in the other story he is the sole survivor of their rescue boat's sinking...
The best bits are people giving it 1/10 star reviews, saying the score is terrible, there is no story, it's slow and there are no characters.... You can see these are the sort of people who think Batman is a good movie and being Batman is just too cool, man!.

First off, the score is fucking amazing. It's best since Johann Johannsson's Arrival's score, regarding big movies and I suddenly think a lot more of Hans Zimmer than I did before. Fuck all the massive pompous bullshit orchestra orgasms in the modern movies, where for every battle or dramatic scene you have 400 instruments screaming emotion into you.

The use of a Shepherd's tone is amazing. The use of the Jericho trumpets Junkers had tied to their landing gear to create horror while descending was awesome. Sound was extremely well done in this flick, said to be even noisier than it actually would be. I read the weather was worse than during the actual evacuation, but I didn't mind, it was perfect, especially when scenes took different time lines but stayed stitched.

The sea foam was so cool. I didn't know sea foams like that. Eww.

Okay, for the "story"... Did you mean a story like that in Pearl Harbour? No, there is no story like that here. But there are some truly good stories if you actually turn your fucking brain on and watch the fucking film instead of expecting Batman to show up and save everyone with his batboat: the story of an old man whose son taught him how to avoid aeroplane assaults, who has turned the tragedy of losing his firstborn into a noble and wise cause, human, humane and compassionate. His other son is an extremely decent human being likewise.

The story of an ill-fortunate French man trying to get on the boat by stealing a dead man's uniform, for it seemed that in the beginning there won't even be enough boats to save the Brits.
The story of an X soldier, name entirely irrelevant, because he could have been any single one of those too young, too poorly trained boys, who has to go through several circles of Hell to finally get to shore.

The stories of pilots whose life expectancy was that of mayflies.

The stories of unseen politicians who fucked up on every front: English going to France using WWI plans, getting fucked in the ass first thing; running back; German commanders deciding to stall killing them all because they were still hoping England will join Germany; Churchill and his posse refusing to send rescue in order to prepare for a possible invasion then giving hot speeches about fighting to the end (TRY sometimes.); the media making sure the defeated boys were treated as heroes, each given their own little medals, because they still needed most of them - this was just the beginning of the show ...

There could be even LESS dialogue. Even LONGER scenes. Even longer moments of people's faces during crappy decisions.

Oh, and guess what, the three narratives come together like three ships colliding - it is brilliant. Even just awful stuff like the third pilot waving back to his mate, thinking the second pilot is signaling I'm OK when actually he is drowning, trapped ... Or the story of a little boat's fate from different perspectives ..That stuff was so well done.

My favourite scenes were... soldiers refusing to go below deck on the rescue boat ... water coming at people like a wall, unnaturally, like a crushing compression ...and the aforementioned scene of the old man captain being able to position his little ship to minimize chances of being hit by the Messerschmitt. His son taught him well :) "My son is one of you." IS one of you. The spirit intact.