1917 was directed by Sam Mendes and follows Lance Corporals Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Schofield (George MacKay) as they set out on a seemingly impossible mission to deliver a message that will stop 1,600 men from walking into a deadly trap setup by the Germans.
I walked into this movie with relatively high expectations given that it had won Best Drama at the Golden Globes and was nominated for 10 Oscars. As I was watching the movie, I found myself immersed for the most part. The first half hour or so was brilliant, as the two main characters were given their mission and they left their base camp to walk into the nightmarish world left behind by the ongoing war. The movie does an excellent job capturing the horrors of war, and the way it was filmed allows the audience to be fully immersed in this world. It felt as though I was travelling with these two soldiers.
As mentioned earlier, the filming in 1917 worked for me because it literally followed the two protagonists on their journey. I often found myself trying to find where the cuts happened (especially at the beginning), but besides that, I think the filming, editing and cinematography were excellent in 1917. The performances by the two main characters were also really good, especially when it came to conveying a feeling of true despair.
Now for the aspects that didn’t quite work for me. First of all, this is a very slow movie. If you read the synopsis online or watch the trailer, you know almost exactly what’s going to happen, with some small deviations along the way. I often found myself zoning out a little until a small jump scare brought my attention back to the movie. Also, it seemed as though some decisions were made for the sole purpose of serving future story arcs. This in itself is completely fine for most movies, but if you’re going for a realistic story, it can be a little distracting.
Overall, 1917 was excellent from a technical point of view, but a little lacking in story and plot. The movie captures the horrors of WWI in a very realistic way, and along with some strong performances, makes it worth the price of admission to see it on the big screen.
Star Rating: (7 / 10)
Have you had a chance to check out 1917? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!