1917 is a war movie written and directed by Sam Mendes (Skyfall and Spectre). Taking place during World War I, two British soldiers must deliver an important message to call off an upcoming attack that is unfortunately destined to endanger the lives of many people, while avoiding their enemies at all costs. It’s admittedly a pretty simple premise, but the execution is epic.
The beauty of one take: Obviously, the most important thing to talk about is the brilliant cinematography by Roger Deakins. From start to finish, it’s made to look like it’s filmed entirely in a single take, and it’s quite impressive. It’s unquestionably astounding, and it actually does enhance the experience of being fully immersed in the narrative. It allows the movie to be a lot more grounded and realistic because you feel like you’re also there on the battlefield with the two main characters. Whenever soldiers are shooting at each other, it’s so intense! Every scene is beautifully shot with the help of some impressive camera movements, and it does make the movie very engaging. You can tell that it’s not always one continuous shot, but you’re able to let that slide and just experience the film for its stunning and immersive cinematography.
“There is only one way this war ends. Last man standing.” While 1917 is considered to be a thrilling war film, the dramatic aspect also stands out thanks to the fantastic performances from its two lead actors. George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman are absolutely incredible as the two young soldiers, and you immediately gravitate towards their relationship as close friends from the get-go. The friendship that they have with one another is quite touching, which is something that the audience will connect with. Whenever they’re in danger, you do feel that as well. However, you don’t really care much about some of the other troopers on screen, because they’re just there for the sake of being there and/or give out some exposition. It’s not a flaw that compromises the rest of the movie, but it would have been better to flesh them out a little bit.
See it on the big screen! 1917 is another great feature from Sam Mendes that showcases both his passion and talent as one of the best filmmakers working right now. If you ever have the chance of seeing the movie on the biggest screen possible, do it. You will be sure to have one of the most memorable and unique screenings of your life.