Review: ‘Dunkirk’ from a One Directioner’s perspective

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By Kaylee Johnson
Campus News

When I was a freshman in high school I went to a Big Time Rush concert at a local theater. I decorated a tank top the night before with neon paints and burned my hair with my straightener. What I really remembered from that concert was the opening act, a young group of boys named One Direction that swept me off my feet. After that night I bought their albums, attended their concerts, hung their posters on my walls, and tweeted them how much I loved them. I am nineteen now and to be honest I created a new Twitter account because I was so embarrassed about my borderline obsessive tweets about 1D.

Today I watched Dunkirk, as a 1D Harry Styles fan. I still enjoy listening to his music and watching him in interviews, but I am not the same crazed super fan I was half a decade ago. Dunkirk does not have a clear plot, but it definitely told a story that many may not have known about before entering the movie theater. There was no wasted dialogue throughout the movie; words weren’t needed in many scenes because viewers could see the color leaving the soldiers’ faces when they heard bombs explode and the look of dread as many drowned or nearly drowned to death. The movie was incredibly moving and well made. I did not recognize any of the actors, except Styles, of course, but I found them to be gifted in a way I had not seen in a while. They simply worked well together; they expressed emotion that appeared so authentic that I often found myself flooded with fear, despair, and anxiety during the movie.

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Styles’ character in Dunkirk is extremely bold and heroic He did a wonderful job portraying a character that was so different than the boy who sung “Little Things” and “Best Song Ever.” He may never act again, but I think he should because he evidently has the looks and the talent to make it as a famous actor. I believe he took this role to break out of that boy band typecast and show the world that he is not seventeen anymore. He made an appearance on iCarly many years ago, but I cannot recall seeing him acting since then, except in an SNL skit where he played Mick Jagger. When 1D broke up, my heart took a beating. Styles became a large success, and Niall Horan is surely working his way up the ladder, but the rest of the guys are stuck under the radar. Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne are fathers and Zayn Malik is dating Gigi Hadid. Dunkirk was like a coming of age celebration for Styles.

In this era it is hard to find good, authentic action and war movies. Everything in Dunkirk was true to its time — a retelling of the British evacuation of France early in WWII. Without this evacuation of over 300,000 men, Britain would have had trouble regrouping and eventually helping defeat Germany with the Allies. Also interesting is how private British yachtsmen and fishermen also crossed the Channel to help with the evacuation. This is an important subplot of the film.

The wardrobe, weapons, and Spitfire planes acted as a time machine; these elements contributed to the beautifully poignant recreation that was Dunkirk. I would recommend doing a little bit of research on the Battle of Dunkirk before you buy your movie tickets. I hope to see some of these actors in upcoming major motion pictures.

Sometimes I leave the movie theater wondering why I paid ten dollars for a ticket and an additional ten dollars for popcorn and water. Today I did not feel that way; instead I felt as if I left the movie with new knowledge and a heavy heart. It is seldom that a movie moves me as much as Dunkirk did. It takes good, quality acting, experienced directors, and authenticity to create such a memorable movie. I have a feeling this movie will be adored by people of all ages for decades.

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