“Dunkirk” has been out in theaters for about a week, but the debate about the movie has been going on for longer than that — a debate, not about the merit of the film or about the casting, but about whether the One Direction fans going to see the movie are going for the right reasons.
Some people, apparently concerned with teenage girls crashing their cool war movie, are up in arms over fans wanting to see Harry Styles on the big screen. People have made videos bemoaning the fact that One Direction/Harry Styles fans are without a doubt a large part of this movie’s would be audience. “They don’t care about the story or the history.” “They aren’t Nolan fans.” “They’re just going to gawk at the pop star.” Excuse me, but all you pitchfork-wielding pseudo-intellectuals can take a step back because aren’t you coming to see this movie for the same exact reasons they are?
Number One: You liked the trailer. You thought the concept, look, music etc… looked like it could add up to be a pretty good movie and decided to go and see it. The difference being that while those things may have made me say, “Oh, I might go see that,” the presence of Harry Styles made me say, “Oh, I’m definitely going to go see that.”
Number Two: You went to go see the movie because you’re a Christopher Nolan fan. You saw “The Dark Knight” or “Inception” and you loved how those turned out. You didn’t know going in that “Dunkirk” was going to be a good movie, but you had faith that it would be based on past experiences. How is that any different than a diehard One Direction fan buying Harry’s solo album or going to see him in his first role when you have been a solid fan of his in the past? Answer: It’s not. You’re just doing what plenty of other people are guilty of, judging young people based on their passions and condemning them because you don’t understand them.
Number Three: “Dunkirk” looked like the best movie in theaters and you had nothing else to do, so went to go see it. The difference between me and you, Johnny, is that women recognize the power of working together. Why do you think “Fifty Shades Darker” spanked every other movie that came out that weekend? It’s because groups of women planned, got together, and went to see it, together. While Bucktooth Johnny and his hipster friend, Ted, went to go see the second “Lego Movie”, Susan, Becky and their five other friends went to go see Fifty Shades, twice.
People are intimidated by passion, especially in women or the young because passion changes things, and in a world where most of the shot-callers are men, that simply can’t be tolerated. All those young girls who you thought flocked to the theater to gawk at Harry Styles increased the money that movie made exponentially, and wasn’t that the goal for the studio in the first place?
And why does there have to be only one reason for someone wanting to go see this movie? Why can’t someone go to cheer on their Baby/King/All Holy Sunshine and also have a nice night out with their friends while also picking up some history they might not have otherwise? Why do people insist it has to be one or the other, Harry Styles fangirls or beret wearing cinephile? Why do we insist on demonizing our young girls and boys and the things that they love?
So I say go and see “Dunkirk” if you want to. Stand up and cheer like a crazy wildebeest when Harry first shows up on screen. Be excited and don’t let anyone shame you for your excitement because I’m sure not going too.