1917: Nathan's Movie Review
It's been some time since we were given a war movie as great and unpredictable as 1917. The film was haunting and gripping and kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire two-hour run time. The film grabbed your attention from the beginning and didn't let go until the final moments. It was so gripping, in fact, that you could actually feel the people around you in the theater holding their breath as the events unfolded before them on the screen.
The film follows two young British soldiers during World War I who are given an impossible mission. They are to sneak behind enemy lines in order to reach another Brit battalion and deliver orders straight from the general: stand down and do not attack as planned because the Germans have set up a trap that would take out 1,600 Brit soldiers.
First thing's first. Sam Mendes deserves the Best Director Oscar for this brilliant film. As the master of the one-continuous-shot, and the main writer of the screenplay, Mendes weaves a tale of desperation in a time when the light of hope was dim and the times seemed beyond dismal. The acting was outstanding. There were minor appearances by big names such as Colin Firth, Mark Strong, and Benedict Cumberbatch but they didn't carry the film. It instead relied on the talented George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman. While the two young men have starred in some big-time productions, they've managed to remain relatively unknown. I don't think that'll be much of an issue anymore after this film. They held their own and their performances were magnificent.
I loved the level of detail and realism the film had. It dropped you right into the environment and immersed you into the time period. I also loved how emotional the film was. You really cared for the characters, even the small ones that seem unimportant. For instance, Lance Corporal Schofield stumbles upon a young woman and infant who are in hiding from German soldiers during the aftermath of an invasion. The young woman was just as frightened as Schofield was and their short interaction spoke volumes about not only the two of them but also the people who were caught in the crossfires and were just trying to survive. It's nothing short of brilliant, haunting storytelling.
In conclusion, 1917 isn't just a great war film, it's a fantastic story about the human condition, about survival against all odds, and about perseverance when the world seems grim. I give the film a 4 out of 4.
© 2020 Nathan Jasper