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1917 Review – A Masterclass in Filmmaking

2 min read

During World War I two British soldiers are tasked with going deep behind enemy lines to get a message to stop 1600 soldiers from charging into a German ambush. 

Sam Mendes and Roger Deakins… That’s all. Go see the film. If you need more, this film is a masterclass in filmmaking, on all fronts. Directing, acting, cinematography, and score. It’s a visual achievement. 1917 is without a doubt one of the best films of 2019.

Our two leads, George Mackay and Dean-Charles Chapman are perfect and ably carry this film when it’s just them walking through enemy territory for a majority of the time. But the time you are spending watching them walk is some of the most heart-racing moments utilizing the most beautiful camera work you will see this year. The film is shot in several long tracking shots giving the illusion that most of the film is in one take. This gives the audience the same feelings of tension and fear that the protagonists of the film are going through. 1917 is extremely immersive, comparable to what it would be like if the team who made Birdman (2014) seem as if it were one long shot worked on something that is just as immersive as 1917 in Dunkirk (2017). 

1917 plagued by one issue. The film somewhat lacks in story. It’s a pretty simplistic story and while that doesn’t take away from the film it is noticeable at times. The story is elevated by the performances, characters, filmmaking, and the overall intense nature of the film. Something that is interesting about the film is that it’s not filled with gore, blood or extreme violence. Those elements are there but they aren’t at the forefront. War, in general, is not at the forefront even though this is a war film. Obviously, war is involved but 1917 is more about the tension and uncertainties of war while traveling through enemy lines and if our heroes will be able to complete their mission in time. 

So, if you needed more, 1917 is a technical achievement. It’s why people go to the cinema, to be transported somewhere else where all of their everyday worries are put aside for 2 hours. Here you are a part of this team of unlikely heroes on their journey to save lives. 1917 is a frontrunner in several awards categories. It’s one of, if not, the best movie of the year. And when it’s all said and done this probably will not only be considered one of the best World War I films of all time but one of the best war films in general. 

Rating:
★★★★★

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