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  • Simon Garner

Dunkirk Official Main Trailer

The second trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk was launched on Friday, and it presented plenty to talk about. However, funnily, it didn’t present much to talk about from a story/clues angle. I’ve always felt Nolan’s trailers tend to be from this mould - never giving much away, but this is an historical, real-life event, so the approach lends itself here. It did provide opportunity to talk about the visuals though, again being a staple of a Nolan trailer, and ultimately his films.

The trailer was tense, doing a good job of conveying the themes of a war film - fear, uncertainty, and outright chaos. I use ‘war film’ loosely, because Nolan insists it isn’t a ‘war film’, and I’ll come to that later.

The trailer opens with a glorious, widespan shot of a beach and the sea, followed by incoming fighter jets and thousands of soldiers on the beach, ducking for cover out in the open. We then see a family of sailors preparing to leave, being instructed by the elder figure ‘We have to go to Dunkirk, ready on the stern line.’ We get shots of more jets, resident Nolan actor Tom Hardy looking typically badass as a fighter pilot, soldiers carrying a man on a stretcher, and a ship, ‘about to leave’, jam-packed full of soldiers eager to get away from the hellish scene - unfortunately, they don’t get far.

We then see a conversation between two high-ranking officials, mentioning civilian boats, and are greeted again by the sailing family from the beginning, who have picked up a rather disheveled looking, bloodied Cillian Murphy, understandably adamant they do not go to Dunkirk on a rescue mission, but instead to turn around and head home - ‘Weekend sailors, not the bloody navy’.

More stunning, if harrowing, visuals ensue - fire on the water, capsized ships, planes in full attack, with men on the beach, guns blazing towards the sky in retaliation, and a whole host of other grim images. The intensity is contributed to by a layer of alarms and a ticking countdown, culminating in an enemy fighter jet being caught in the sight of us, the viewer, which really encapsulates the intrigue.

I’ll return to my earlier point - the ‘war film’ tag. As I said previously, Nolan is insistent this is not a war film, so I feel the story could be told from the points of view of the ‘weekend sailors’, the civilians who feel there’s no running from the atrocities of war. This could be why Nolan is keen for it to be labelled much more than a war film, having been a project close to his heart for a long time.

Looking forward to this one, but being big Nolan fans at LoF, we look forward to anything the great man does!

Release Date: 21 July 2017

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