Jeemo wrote:didn't likes. No real story, flimsy characters, a fractured timeline for absolutely no real reason whatsoever, fidnt add to the drama
The timeline splitting was disorienting at first but after half an hour or so I found that one settled into it and they handled the convergence really well. I thought that the pretty clear reason for splitting the timelines was to show the action from different perspectives and as was made clear those different perspectives operated at different speeds.
As for the characterisation, I think that's an invalid criticism. This wasn't intended to be a character study and indeed the film quite purposely avoided character development: these guys never even spoke their names onscreen, they never asked each other about their histories or any other details. They were just faces in the crowd, everymen. In that sense, criticising the film for having flimsy characters is like criticising it for not having convincing aliens. Indeed, the one strand which did try for some more emotional impact, the boat scenes with Rylance and the teenagers, ended up being the weak link as it didn't sit well with the overall feel of the film.
And again, not having a real story was part of the point. It was always the filmmakers' intention to just show the evacuation. No fleshing it out with romance or any kind of distractions. We were just thrust into the action with some people we didn't know, watching them try to escape. Sure, the soldiers on the beach got into several different situations but this heightened the drama and some of the scenes were horribly effective.
I agree that aspects of the ending were a bit corny: not just the music but some of the lines about "home" and things like the old geezer passing beers through the train window. At the same time, I think that there really was this passionate patriotic feeling to the events at the time, judging by media reports at the time and it's easy to imagine that that fervour was drummed up as part of the war effort.