" the most intense, ambitious, nerve wreaking and excruciatingly painful story ever created and designed to be seen in IMAX"
When a film is intended to be watched in IMAX, there is only one thing to do in order to experience its power at full potential, enjoying it at the BFI IMAX in Waterloo. The biggest screen in the UK, provides you with the incredible opportunity to be immersed in the movie by amplifying the sound and providing such clarity in the images that it becomes impossible not to be captured by the story told on screen.
With Dunkirk this experience becomes even more powerful and holds a stronger meaning. I can't classify this as Nolan's best project, however, Dunkirk is the most intense, ambitious, nerve wreaking and excruciatingly painful story ever created and designed to be seen in IMAX.
The movie starts in medias res as the audience is instantly thrown into the action, World War II has just begun and the alliance is already suffering from great loss and defeat. They are surrounded by the German troops and the only escape is the sea. The UK is so close that it can be seen from afar, however the attacks by land and sky are relentless and the hope of saving everyone becomes slimmer by the minute.
Technically speaking, Dunkirk doesn’t have any flaws in my opinion; the camera follows at close proximity with the protagonist, forcing the audience to create an instant bond with him and become invested with his faith. The cast is carefully selected to deliver one of the greatest performances as an ensemble, they are all committed to giving justice to this untold story and to celebrate the heroes who fell while saving 400,000 soldiers from certain death.
Tom Hardy shows once again that he can deliver a perfect performance even when his face is fully covered by a mask, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh and James D’arcy are impeccable in their roles and they help Hardy carry the weight of the story in his shoulder.
The film doesn't follow a chronological line and it is split between land, air and water. The audience feels the same confusion, hopelessness, extreme fear and despair of every soldier and the anachronistic timeline adds to the disorientation, making the audience become even more a part of the story. There is no moment of relief and the movie is a continuous crescendo of anxiety that builds up thanks to the tempo given by the soundtrack.
Hans Zimmer's work for this movie is simply art; the soundtrack evolves with the movie in one single track that never ends and revolves around the ticking of a clock. The sounds are almost deafening and they add up to that feeling of hopelessness and surrender to faith that is ever present in the story. Everything works in a subconscious level and you don't even realise you are holding your breath till the very end.
All of these strong sensations and emotions are amplified by the IMAX technology that push the audience to really become part of the story. Throughout the movie, the tension is so palpable that you are unconsciously pushed to feel everything the protagonists are feeling.
Watching Dunkirk in IMAX leaves you out of breath and the end of the journey and the shock is so intense that there isn't even space to find relief when the credit start rolling on the screen. By creating a film entirely shoot in 70mm film, Christopher Nolan has brought to the screen the perfect realistic transposition of one of the most painful historical events during WWII and the only way to truly enjoy it at is full potential is to watch it in an IMAX theatre.