I’m Torn About War Movies

I saw Dunkirk on Wednesday. It really was a beautiful film! It was effective, it was heart-wrenching, it was not overly dramatised, it made me cry a little. The acting was absolutely phenomenal too, Fionn Whitehead was brilliant. I loved how he barely spoke through the film. Styles was good too which really surprised me to be honest. My favourite aspect of this film was it’s score. It was really beautiful, and the ticking throughout most of the film was incredibly effective. That really got to me because it brought everything home. Time was of the essence! The ticking was a perfect way to instantly instil a sense of nausea that a film like this should do.

I’m just not a fan of war films. Granted I say this after loving Wonder Woman and Hacksaw Ridge, but this is more of a war film than those two were. I’m not really sure why I don’t like them that much either because I love history. In way, I suppose I worry that they aren’t respectful to both the history and the people who fought these wars. I worry that aren’t made in good faith and are only made because they’re a guaranteed tear-jerker which will make money. These people did not die for the film industry to make money, which is even worse when I pay money to go to see them. I think I’m reading too much into it but I’m really torn about these kind of films.

Dunkirk was a beautiful film and will most likely get a lot of Oscar noms, which I think are deserving. I’m just worried about the state of war films and really, any film that is based on tragedy, for example look at those Boston bombing movies coming out just now, and that one with Charlie Sheen about 9/11. To the people who suffered through these events, you need to keep them in mind. What Pete Davidson said about that Charlie Sheen movie is at the forefront of my mind when I mention this. Films about social issues, like Loving or Moonlight or Detroit, make sense as there are many details which are Mandela Effected that can be corrected in movies but this doesn’t always work. Look at that Stonewall film that had a white male as the lead when that isn’t even the slightest bit truthful.

The level of dramatisation of films like this worry me, whether they are based on true stories or are handling very sensitive issues. You tread the line of being disrespectful to dramatise things too much. I understand that sometimes you need to insert a little Hollywood, like Lin-Manuel Miranda had to do for Hamilton, however it’s important to know where the line is and where you should approach it.

I don’t know. I’m conflicted. If people are going to make these films, I just want them to be made with the respect they deserve.

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