REVIEW: 1917 Is A Cinematic Masterpiece

3 min


The following is a Non-Spoiler review!

In its horrific experiences and the hardships that soldiers faced, the First World War is unprecedented, a fact that 1917 understands.

The film created by director Sam Mendes is about war, destruction, and chaos. However, the moments of humanity that will tie you deeply to our protagonist will come with all that. Dean-Charles Chapman and George McKay have amazing chemistry that allows for the authenticity of their friendship.

The story is simple enough here, never really crossing any new boundaries. However, to say the least, the journey through which Blake (Chapman) and Schofield (McKay) have to go is daunting. A film that unfolds with unpredictable events that force the viewer to stay focused and give full attention.

Both a dreadful and horrific journey that is further amplified by the amazing camerawork by Sam Mendes. 1917 is not a one-shot movie. However, the camerawork, as well as editing, has been made to seem that way. It’s quite genius and allows for a more complex view of war.

Yes, Schofield’s relationship with Blake is paramount, but their interactions with other soldiers/people reveal their compassion. The world these two are living in is far worse than they know, but they hold onto their humanity instead of subjecting themselves to that level of cruelty.

What’s mesmerizing here is that Blake and Schofield aren’t exaggerated in their abilities or understanding of war. The two of them could be literally anyone, but the task set upon them is driving them forward. With this though, comes a feeling of hopelessness that is continuously pushed onto the audience so to create a feeling of almost being trapped.

1917 is an absolutely stunning masterpiece, whether it’s showcasing the destructive action or the intensity of certain scenes. The beauty of an open field of greenery that is found in contrast to the sea of dead bodies. The cinematography takes full advantage of the disgusting nature of war and creates beautiful imagery with it.

Creating a vivid showcasing of World War 1 is not easy, particularly when similar feats have been accomplished by other films within the same subject. Regardless, 1917 stands out in its focus on realism and stress-inducing situations.

Actors such as Colin Firth, Mark Strong, and Benedict Cumberbatch make brief appearances within the film. While their moments may be brief, they definitely add to the overall narrative and experience. Especially as Cumberbatch and Firth play the role of sending young soldiers into a blind battle.

The tragedy of all this is increased by the fact that most of these young soldiers don’t even make it back home. Characters within the movie are heard conversing as to the point of all this conflict, emphasizing on the fact that soldiers during WW1 didn’t always understand what they’re fighting for.

My biggest complaint, however, comes in the form of a scene where Blake and Schofield divide ways, leading Schofield to find a group of British soldiers. The problem with this is that a few minutes earlier, Blake and Schofield had just passed the area minutes before, and somehow missed the soldiers. That moment created a bit of confusion and even broke immersion.

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Despite this, 1917 excels mostly from Mendes’ ability to create an environment that is inhumane and constantly pushing our characters into moments of fear, anxiety and absolute danger. By the end of the film, the cinema sat there in awe and shock as a few minutes were needed to digest everything that occurred in the film.

For its cinematography, writing, acting and excellent direction by Sam Mendes, we scored 1917 a solid 9/10.

GREAT


For its cinematography, writing, acting and excellent direction by Sam Mendes, we scored 1917 a solid 9/10.


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Ali Harris

A fan of all things games, movies, TV shows and of course comic-books.