Yesterday I saw Dunkirk and while I really enjoyed it, I wish I could have turned off my writer’s brain for two hours.
The movie is great, really and truly. My problem was that I wanted it to be the next Pearl Harbor. It wasn’t and I realized why.
There was no backstory.
Sure, you want these men to survive. You’re rooting for them. Mostly (for me) because they were Ally soldiers, the ‘good’ guys.
But, I didn’t really care. When one died or they were faced with a challenge, I wasn’t on my edge of my seat (mostly because we were sitting in those amazing new recliners) because I didn’t know them! I didn’t know why they wanted to go home. Who was waiting for them? Was anyone? Why had they joined the army? Was it out of duty or draft? Was it in place of their father or brother? Was it in the name of their family in Belgium that was killed by the enemy?
I wanted to know this so I had reason to root for them. Instead, we were shown about 24 hours of the war from 3 perspectives. No build up and no resolution. Just a snapshot into that moment in time.
I learned a lot. I got emotional at a few points when the movie taught me something I hadn’t known about the war. But at the end of the day I won’t remember this movie. It didn’t impact me in the way movies can.
Maybe others will have love it. Maybe I was picking it apart. But, unfortunately, I can’t turn off my writer’s brain.
Also, Harry Styles gave quite an impressive performance. I was really impressed by him.