Set in World War I, 1917, is a pure bravado of two soldiers, Lance Corporal Schofield & Blake, who are tasked to deliver a crucial message to Colonel Mackenzie. A fate of 1600 soldiers lies in this message.
Why Should You Watch 1917?
1. 1917 is Immersive and Hard hitting!
Right from the beginning the cinema immerses you deep into it’s world dated almost 100 years back. A dive where you even skip your breath. You begin to live the world of World War I and move along with the characters. You want to know who is Schofield/Blake. You want to know where they are heading to and you would certainly want to know if anything would happen to either of them. That’s it 5 minutes into the movie and you’re in.
2. Realistic Insights of World War I
As Lance Corporal Schofield and Blake begin their journey we get glimpses of some of the most catastrophic damages of the war portrayed with equally realistic touch. Right from their own frontline trench to the no man’s land and then barging into the German’s frontline trench, we can witness the damage to humanity, to nature, to the animals and the landscapes. The visuals are by far disturbing.
Cinema should be pure escapism as stated by co-writer of 1917, Krysty Wilson-Cairns. The whole point of watching a cinema in a theatre is to escape from our real life and step into the reel life of the characters portrayed right in front of you. 1917, does that exactly. We tend to become a part of journey along with Schofield and Blake. As if we are walking and crawling along with them from the sides. 1917 is 150 minutes of pure escapism.
4. The Characters
We fall in love with the characters of two friends, Lance Corporal Schofield & Blake. We fall in love with their friendship. We empathize with their internal turmoil, their ecstasy to return to their homes, to their families and their budding nostalgia. That’s when you realize you have been willfully soaked into the characters. You are ready to go the length with them. The innocence of Blake make you want a friend like him. He is charming, cute and emotional which is why Schofield has to protect him from the harshness of the world.
Meanwhile Schofield is more of mature, smart and seasoned type. He can control his emotions when needed, think practically and make smart calls. And rightly so the rest of the journey embarks on the weeping shoulder of Lance Corporal Schofield.
5. Visual Spectacle
1917 is visually impounding. Cinema is a visual medium and director Sam Mendes along with renowned cinematographer Roger Deakins and editor Lee Smith Ace have left no stone unturned to put together a startling immediacy.
6. The One Shot
Once the camera rolls you will observe that there are literally no cuts. The scene continues to run like a one continuous shot without cuts or angles. This was achieved by some great planning for months and incredibly smart shooting and editing. However, it was not shot in one take but a series of uncut continuous shots cobbled together to make it look like one long shot. This was done in contrast to the storyline wherein the characters in order to deliver the message have to keep inching forward and so does the camera.
Inspired from the stories of Mendes’ Grandfather who himself was a war veteran, 1917 is purely a not to be missed stellar journey of sacrifice and friendship. The amazing visuals amalgamated with distinctive cinematography runs some chills down the spine. Realism is a big give away by director Sam Mendes. No angles, no cuts just one long shot is what it takes for it to be a masterpiece.