For quite some time now, Christopher Nolan has been dabbling in the world of science fiction. Between all his Batman flicks, The Prestige, Inception, and Interstellar, he’s certainly had his focus high in the sky. However, with his latest film, Dunkirk, he’s turning his attention to the world of reality with a World War II film.
The initial teaser for the film was exactly what we’d expect out of a Nolan film. Focusing on a bunch of soldiers about to be hit by an airstrike, it was cold, harsh, and unflinching. While there was no explicit violence, it didn’t take much to imagine what would become of those soldiers before long. This seemed to have all the makings for a war story — a war story sure to be full of bloody gore and violence.
It turns out that will not be the case, as the film will be saddled with a PG-13 rating. We wouldn’t say fans were up in arms about this, but it certainly raised a few eyebrows. Would it be possible to tell an impactful war story with such a light rating? Would Nolan be forced to tone down some of the violence in order to accommodate this?
Speaking with AP, Nolan talked about the reasoning behind the rating.
“All of my big blockbuster films have been PG-13. It's a rating I feel comfortable working with totally. Dunkirk is not a war film. It's a survival story and first and foremost a suspense film. So while there is a high level of intensity to it, it does not necessarily concern itself with the bloody aspects of combat, which have been so well done in so many films. We were really trying to take a different approach and achieve intensity in a different way. I would really like lots of different types of people to get something out of the experience.”
Nolan is nothing if not unique in his approach to filmmaking. While a more standard violent direction may be the way some filmmakers go, he seems to be intent on changing it up to help suit his own personal sensibilities, which we can understand. Too often to moviegoers like us get too caught up in trivial ratings, and we often lose sight of a filmmakers intent.
Let’s hope audiences agree on this direction once we see the movie.
Dunkirk hits theaters on July 21, 2017.
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