Dunkirk Done Right

Today, 79 years ago, the siege at Dunkirk was at its savage height

The small screen managed to do a better job of it than the big screen

I wanted to recommend a VERY good dramatization about Dunkirk that I saw recently – and I do not mean the cinematic Twilight Zone episode that got all the hype two years ago.
 
It is a three-part mini-series (three hours in total) from 2004, which is currently on Britbox. But it may be findable elsewhere.
 
Part docudrama narrated by Timothy Dalton, part scripted drama, it gives a much better idea of what a shitstorm it really was, compared to the artistic license version we saw in the cinemas.
 
And Benedict Cumberbatch is featured in the last part, when he was just starting to be recognized as someone special. “Bennie” loses his celebrity status quickly and is truly terrific as one of the real-life lions in those dark hours.
 
Not that the 2017 film wasn’t a good movie. But as my review puts it back in the day, it was a creative way to try to tell the re-examined metaphysical tale, rather than spend the zillions required to tell the actual one.
 
And in case you haven’t seen the movie yet, my review doesn’t spoil very much at all.
 

2 thoughts on “Dunkirk Done Right

  1. Wife and I watched the more recent, big-screen “Dunkirk” on Nflix
    last winter. It struck me at the time as a symbolic, even allegorical tale -a little bit like the Gregory Peck’s “Moby Dick” but not as rich, of course. When I read your posting regarding the docudrama version, I realized that the other version was also a bit like the original “Alien” where there is always one more hurtle for Ripley to overcome before gaining relative safety. Wife and I look forward to watching the version that you’ve reviewed most recently.

    • Thank you for your comment, David.

      I have been meaning to watch the film again, and may soon.

      I thought, in some respects, it was very clever to scale it all down like the did. For example, they showed like two German aircraft, or was it just one, making dive-bombing runs, every so often, to refresh the theme of death coming haphazardly at any moment. And that represented the some 550 aircraft, and 40,000 lbs of bombs dropped on beach area in just three of the eight days. And also the way you never saw the Germans, until the end, just the effect of their attacks.

      But it kept reminding me of the Twilight Zone, they way it kept showing individuals isolated from the rest of the world, by white sand that went on forever, or empty ocean, or gray clouded sky, etc. And how each little event was symbolic, as you put it, of much larger history and also generic in a way that made it not really about Dunkirk per se, but as I mention in my review, human beings trying to survive catastrophe.

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