This preview is quite complex given its brevity, as it interweaves three separate stories, any one of which could have formed the basis of a 7-minute preview. Therefore, it is difficult to tell whether, like the IMAX preview of The Dark Knight Rises, this constitutes the film’s opening, or whether it is an edited highlight reel of one particular movement in the film. The footage begins with two soldiers hurriedly transporting a wounded soldier onto a boat that is set to leave in two minutes time. As they make their way they must battle through crowds of fellow soldiers, and perilously walk across dilapidated structures. Meanwhile, Mark Rylance’s character is emptying a boat of personal possessions in order to load it with life jackets. He is assisted by two younger men, who are presumably his sons. They’re on their way to Dunkirk to pick up, ‘a few’ soldiers, with one of the boys wondering aloud how many constitute a few, as he stares at the mountain of life jackets on the dock. As he gets on the boat the older child asks him, if he knows where they’re going. Finally, the third strand consists of Tom Hardy’s pilot attempting to shake off a German plane, and losing fuel in the process. Sadly for some, there was no sight of Harry Styles…
Each segment, taken on its own, has the potential to be ridiculously tense. However, edited together, and accompanied by the sounds of a ticking clock and an ominous score, I was left breathless by the end. In just a seven-miute preview, Nolan has given us one of the tensest cinematic experiences of 2016. The aerial scenes in particular, are a superb showcase for the scale and immersion of IMAX photography. As the largest screen in Britain was filled from top to bottom with the sight of planes flying above the water, you felt that sense of awe only great cinema can provide. Make no mistake; this is a film that like any other Nolan, is worth seeing on the biggest screen you can find.
When the preview reaches its crescendo, we hear the German planes coming from behind us, and the surround sound gets louder and louder until the screen cuts to black. After being shown the title and release date, we go back to Tom Hardy’s pilot and see his plane's propellers stop. It was almost cruel showing such a gripping and cinematic sequence right before another film was about to start. Whilst Rogue One is fantastic, it was telling to see right before it, a film that was truly shot and designed for the IMAX experience. Christopher Nolan’s use of, and support for, the medium is refreshing and vital in an age where people are rapidly turning away from cinemas for the convenience of the home-viewing experience. If you’re a film-fan who cherishes going to the cinema, or just one who loves a World War Two epic, then based on this footage you need to save the date, July 21st, 2017.
By Movie Parliament Prime Minister,
Did you see the Dunkirk 7-minute IMAX preview? Are you excited for the film? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.