A Race Against Time in 1917

The Stream: The storyline is completely unimportant.

The Big Screen: Tremendous filming, scenery and intense moments.

The Final Bill: Travel down the intense path less traveled in 1917.

Rating: R (violence, graphic images)
Genre: Drama, War
Director: Sam Mendes
Writers: Sam Mendes, Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Stars: Dean-Charles Chapman (Lance Corporal Blake), George MacKay (Lance Corporal Schofield)

Welcome back everyone! This week we were able to get an early screening of the movie, 1917. 1917 hits the theaters in limited release on Christmas Day, but it doesn’t go wide until January 17, 2020. Let’s get to the nitty gritty of this World War I spectacle.

Let’s get the plot out of the way, as it is the most forgettable part of the movie. 1917 features two young British privates during the First World War. Of course, the “powers that be” give the most expendable pawns with the most to lose the “impossible mission”. The privates must deliver a message deep in enemy territory that is necessary to save the lives of 1,600 men. And yes, of course, one of the privates has a brother among that 1,600 that must be saved from walking straight into a deadly German trap. Now that the first 5 minutes of the movie are out of the way, we can get to the brilliance.

The trailer that had me begging to see this movie

To me one of the most awesome feats of this movie is the single shot filming. Now, we all know it is impossible to shoot a nearly two hour movie in one shot flawlessly, but truly the editing and camerawork is amazing. The single shot view enhances the feel of anxiety and urgency. Throughout the movie, I felt as if I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. One thing I can be certain of is that this movie will definitely receive consideration during award season, especially for the cinematography by Roger Deakins.

The filming was great in the execution but also in the setting/scenery. While most of the movie is flat and barren due to the war-torn wasteland, yet the actors take us on the path less travelled. Seriously, through the ups and downs of bunkers, craters, farmlands, waterways, etc. the film moves us. Speaking of moving us, Chapman and MacKay provide a few moving moments, lame ones as well. Both do a very good job conveying the emotional rollercoaster that 1917 and war in general provides to our brave soldiers in the field. The viewer truly follows the ebbs and flows of the privates from beginning to end. We see you King Tommen.

S2S Rating Scale

Long story short, 1917 is an intense, watch your every step, war epic that will garner Oscar buzz from its incredible camera work and set management. The storyline is the most basic it can get but that’s not why you’re going to this movie in the first place. Get a bucket of popcorn and chow down while you race (pensively) to the end.