April 16, 2021


Still-Shot From Official Trailer

War is depicted in many movies, such as “Captain America,” “All Quiet on the Western Front,” and “Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King.” The movie “1917” is unlike any other. The entire two hours were captured in one continuous shot and it tells a thrilling story.

The film stars George McKay as Lance Corporal Schofield and Dean-Charles Chapman as Lance Corporal Blake. These two characters carry the weight of the dialogue, being featured in most of the scenes. This makes director Sam Mendes’ one-shot vision that much more difficult. All the other characters come quickly and leave just as fast. Other stars include Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch and Richard Madden.

These men are on a journey to deliver an order from the general to call off the attack of a massive German front line. Colonel MacKenzie, the man planning the attack scheduled to start at dawn, thinks that the Germans retreated because his army scared them off. In reality, they fell back to join a much larger line with more resources and thousands of additional men. In the words of the general, “They are walking into a trap.”

The characters of Blake and Schofield show unparalleled bravery, courage and determination in this nine-mile journey through enemy territory to deliver the order that would save 1,600 lives, including Blake’s older brother. Though they could have turned back or given up at any point, the two men continued to take up their arms in the face of adversity.

Despite their differences, the two make a good team. Blake could be described as a little naive, while Schofield tends to have a more grim outlook on the world. Their combined experience and skills give them a good lead for the mission, encountering dangers of every kind.

Mendes directed, produced and helped write the movie, with co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns, drawing from stories that their grandfathers would tell them about their World War I experiences. His artistic vision is clear; he wanted it to be authentic to the real war.

This movie portrays World War I accurately. It is brilliantly written and directed, along with top-notch acting from every person on screen. The audience is shown a true glimpse of what the war was like for these men and boys. 

Mendes didn’t hold back with the graphic content because of his vision to accurately portray the violence as much as possible. Even in the first few scenes, there are dead men and animals left to rot where they fell, and some of the characters experience terrible injuries. This vivid content is the main reason why the movie is rated R, but it also has strong language.

His vision is also shown through the perspective of the videography. The camera rarely looms higher than a human’s head, so it gives the audience the feeling that they are right there with the characters.

There is no doubt that this film brings to life the horror that was war, but it breaks ground with new techniques of film-making. It can be described as a cinematic masterpiece that should be remembered for decades. 

 5/5 stars

Leave a Reply