1917 Review


History may not be the most interesting subject in the world, but it’s essential to learn about the history of one’s country. 1917 quickly became one of the greatest films in my mind. A movie about World War I focused on two characters unique stories and their journey to deliver a message across enemy lines. I never thought it would interest me but I felt captivated, almost drawn to it. The camera work used throughout the movie is extraordinary. It looks like one continuous scene. The film received excellent reviews and nominations for over ten academy awards. 

Sam Mendes, the movie’s director, found the idea for this movie on an account from his grandfather. He fought in World War I as a messenger. The two main characters, Lance Corporal Blake, played by Dean-Charles Chapman, and Lance Corporal Schofield, played by George MacKay, deliver a tense, stirring performance. Their order forces them to race against time to save a battalion of over 1600 men including Blake’s brother. The vividness of the scenes show viewers how truly horrific war can be and that little time is given to take in what occurs. The action starts one afternoon and transitions into the next morning. Schofield experiences many of the horrors of war. He walks anxiously into the “no man’s land” and wears that fear on his face. The transition into the movie‘s climax shows his exhaustion from little sleep and constant movement throughout the terrain. 

The film won for Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director at the 77th Golden Globe Awards. It premiered in the UK first on December 4th and was theatrically released in the United States on December 25th. It also won the Producers Guild of America Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture. At the same time it received 10 nominations at the 92nd Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. Sam Mendes’ creativeness in writing and directing the movie led to its worldwide success. The continuous scene used throughout the movie came from the minds of Roger Deakins and Sam Mendes collectively. The actors rehearsed scenes six months prior to filming to ensure each take went perfectly. The handmade sets in the movie were constructed to the length of the script. If a set became too long, then it wouldn’t match up with the script. 

The incessant horrors of war continue to make their appearances in almost every scene. The cinematography used in 1917 kept me on the edge of my seat. In the beginning of the movie, a short, comical conversation between Blake and Schofield occurs. I think this shows how characters in that time period tried to maintain composure and sanity during a brutal war. The end of the movie perplexed me and my step dad. We sat in awe as the credits rolled by. I walked out of the movie theater and instantly knew this movie would make its way onto my favorite list of movies. It may not be a comedy or a horror film, but it captivated me. 1917 plays in most local theaters and George MacKay’s performance received high praise. If you’d like to buy tickets, go here.

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