“Dunkirk” is a harrowing look at a barely averted British catastrophe. - From The New Yorker
Dunkirk is stitched into the British mythology of the Second World War and, even now, occasional mention is made of “the Dunkirk spirit,” yet the legend has never travelled far, and for obvious reasons.
For the most part, all that we see of him is his goggled eyes; not until the finale are we shown the rest of him, and only in the ensuing credits do we find out that he is called Farrier.
Most of the soldiers, who should look pinched and ration-fed, are well nourished, handsome, and unmistakably modern specimens—oddly well spoken, too, and lacking that earth-dark humor with which combatants everywhere seek to lighten their load and to wrestle down their dread.
Most anachronistic of all are the tears that cloud Bolton’s eyes at the approach of the Little Ships.
Look at the evacuees on the Mole, turning their backs as a bomb bursts nearby and being caught in the gust of spray; we don’t actually witness the explosion, any more than they do.