1917 Movie Review Rating: 5/5 Stars (Five stars)
Star Cast: George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Mark Strong, Richard Madden, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch
Director: Sam Mendes
What’s Good: The thought of a War Drama as good as Saving Private Ryan was fictional until now, it not only shows you what’s in front of the camera but also transports you behind it at times to realise what it takes.
What’s Bad: The more I think of picking out the flaws, the more I’m convinced it’s a perfect film & hence the rating.
Loo Break: You might even forget to breathe for a while, keep that in check first.
Watch or Not?: This is a very debatable question because obviously, not everyone will get similar feelings about the subject. Just go through the review, if you’re convinced then go for it!
Stories that can be explained in one line and still get you intrigued to watch them are always considered to be the best. The one-line plot of 1917 is – “Two people have to be from Point A to Point B in a certain amount of time, or else 1600 of their men will be massacred.” We’ve British soldiers Lance Corporal Will Schofield (George MacKay) and Lance Corporal Tom Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) following the orders given by General Erinmore (Colin Firth).
The orders state that Germans have been wanting the British army to initiate the attack so that they can overwhelm with the counter. Blake has a brother in The 2nd of Devons and him along with Scho has to reach them before they start to attack. They’ve to do this by escaping the gun points of Germans which might or might not be surrounding the route. It’s not just about the obstacles they face in the way, it’s also about the unpredictability about whether or not they’re going to get their alive.
1917 Movie Review: Script Analysis
Firstly, let’s congratulate Roger Deakins for his second Oscar win back to back after Blade Runner 2049 last year. Yeah, I’m that confident of Deakins grabbing the Oscar for best cinematography because he has an edge over every brilliant film this year. The idea of making it look like a single shit film was a masterstroke and it works like butter. I was at an unblinking stage for a long time just so I can find those hidden cuts. There are scenes in which I gulped my popcorn so that I don’t make any noise to miss any intricate detail.
Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns’ story comes with nothing extra. It packs a bundle of gut-wrenching moments and aims at doing right through your heart by the end. Makers sneak in Christopher Nolan’s favourite editor Lee Smith with the vision he successfully accomplishes. Sam & Deakins do their job in shooting the film using the ‘blocking and staging’ technique but it’s Lee who had to bridge those scenes in order to make this look like a single fluid shot.
1917 Movie Review: Star Performance
Both George MacKay as Scho and Dean-Charles Chapman as Tom managed to bring a very humane side to their character of army-men. Both of them have the innocence working for them and they use it to make you relate more to them. George MacKay has more dodging to do and he manages to control himself walking just on the lines of perfect acting. Chapman’s character makes you think real hard about the boys who aren’t even men are ready to do anything for their country.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s Colonel Mackenzie concludes your thoughts with “Hope is a dangerous thing”, which kind of sums up the entire plot in one line. Benedict is at his usual best in this small cameo. Richard Madden will make you skip a beat with his special appearance. He just shares one scene but it’s so brilliantly written and performed, it will leave you with a lump in your throat.
1917 Movie Review: Direction, Music
Sam Mendes never screams for your attention, he earns it over time. He just grasps you with the ‘one-shot technique’ in the beginning but also makes sure it doesn’t come across as a gimmick. Most of the film is shot in narrow lanes and once you keep yourself behind the camera with Sam, you’ll understand what he has achieved here is nothing less than extraordinary.
Out of Eight Sam Mendes films to date, he has collaborated with Thomas Newman for Seven times. Apart from Green Mile, there are hardly any movies in this filmography to justify the greatness he has achieved in this zone. He has some memorable soundtracks to this name but with 1917, he manages to John Williams’ zone and nails it for that matter. Putting the uncomfortable silence to his use, Newman is a new man with 1917.
1917 Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, 1917 is the best cinematic experience I’ve ever had and I didn’t even watch in IMAX to review. This is filmmaking at its finest & an example of how putting efforts at the right place will bring you the desired results. It’s beyond rating!
1917 releases on 17th January, 2020.
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