1917 is in select theaters on December 25th, 2019.
1917 is the story of two soldiers on a mission in World War 1 to save 1,600 men from an
ambush and certain death. This film is directed by Sam Mendes, known for American Beauty
and Skyfall, and is shot by my favorite cinematographer working today, Roger Deakins. These
filmmakers decided to attempt something extraordinary with 1917, make an entire 2-hour film,
mostly shot outside on location, look like it’s all one shot. Not only did they succeed, but they
did so in my pick for Best Picture as of right now. 1917 is phenomenal.
Lead by George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman, these actors had to commit to these rolls with every ounce of their will. This film could not have been easy to shoot, being on location and outside, but also with the one-shot focus, there are takes that are easily five minutes long and probably closer to eight at some points. Which means these actors must stay in character, remember the exact choreography to be in the right places at the right time, and remember pages of dialogue all without messing up. If they mess up at minute seven, it’s back to square one.
MacKay truly shines in this role. His character is full of depth and experience in war that radiates from every move his body makes throughout this film. He knows the dangers of war and the importance of surviving, not only for himself but for the people he’s fighting for. From the opening shot, the audience learns pieces of detail about who he is slowly and is never handed these details obviously. 1917 is incredibly honest and takes the audience on a journey with what feels like real people, so there’s no time to stop and explain a life story. I appreciated being forced to think about what I’m seeing and what is being said to understand who these people are.
Overall, I absolutely loved 1917. This is the most intense movie I’ve seen all year. It shows the audience what being a soldier is truly like, from being completely desperate in the worst situation imaginable to being given a task you don’t want, and for some reason choosing to die rather than give up on that task. Please seek this film out when it’s playing at a theater near you, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, and I also think you’ll be hearing about it a lot come award season.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Logan Wischmeier (Contributing Editor) is a Texas native and a massive fan of all genres of film. You can find him talking about movies on YouTube or in line for the latest Star Wars/Comic Book film.
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