1917 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

1917 – War and Duty: The Adventure of Two     

In a war film, there is always an ominous feeling of the unexpected.  No matter what era, you are always put on the edge of your seat through riveting sensations of what comes next.  Even as war films are known for battles, sometimes it is the journey that pulls you forward with excitement.  1917 centers around WWI.  Within the mission of two soldiers, you are brought upon a journey that provides a perspective that is honest, pure and visually stunning.  1917 becomes an experience that showcases one of the best war films in quite some time.

The story follows two young British Soldiers in WWI who are given orders of the impossible: deliver a message deep in enemy territory to 1200 soldiers to stop their attack before they fall into the enemy’s trap.  What most audiences expect (in war films) is a clash of bombastic action, insane mission objectives and companionship.  This film takes these three pillars and does a complete reversal on expectations.  This is a story that is predicated on two things: characters and journey.  Instead of highlighting the expected ‘horrors of the war’, the audience is driven by a lived-in method where the director (Sam Mendes) pushes forward the perspective through a character piece.  The story is simple, but it is within this simplicity that makes everything sensational.  To pull out that adrenaline, the camera is in constant focus of the two main characters.  Known as the One-Shot technique, you are witness to a forward trajectory of their mission from day to night and back.  From crossing No Mans Land to fighting off air bombers, snipers and the elements, Lance Corporal Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Schofield (George Mackay) are faced with obstacles that test their strength of duty, self-worth and fortitude.  With everything on the line, it is their bond that provides endearment.  You get an honest reflection of the person, providing conviction and conflict within humanism.  You see the raw effects of war brought through subtlety of interactions and conversations.  This helps bring about emotional worth, allowing the audience to live, fight and struggle as if you’re part of the mission. 

The constant one-shot technique helps breathe liveliness into the ominous nature of WWI.  The idea is within the captured silence, become aware to expect nothing from certainty.  In each situation, there is a constant struggle of if the impossible will happen.  Delivering the message has ramifications, but it is built within the simplistic nature of characterization.  Here, you are enthralled by circumstance.  The most endearing aspect is when it pushes forward feelings through the lens of the unknown.  This creates a strong sense of purpose to every decision that is made in the film.  Once you arrive at the third act, the daunting task is brought to head through a mixture of action, dramatic sequences and strong revelations.  Here, you are become a witness to what war has become for these soldiers.  This brings a climax that pushes forward an adventure that is filled with endearment.  1917 delivers through the unexpected.  With the visual spectacle pushed forward through its characters, it never ceases to fill the screen with true excitement.  If you’re a fan of war films, this is one for you.  A definite watch on the big screen, a film worth any award recognition.

Full Score – 4.5 out of 5 (Award Worthy)

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