Movie Review : 1917



First you ought to know that 1917 is that the most anxiety-producing film I’ve seen during a few years.At least twice, I gasped aloud.The tension was so thick that for the primary hour, my hand was literally on my heart.In some scenes, I shut my eyes in anticipation of the horror that might inevitably unfold.In short, i used to be a large number.But being a large number because a movie is so devastating and powerfulis the most effective form of mess there's.In 1917, director and co-writer Sam Mendes, co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns andDOP Roger Deakins deliver a movie that mixes high impact with high artistry.The film has been designed as one continuous shot.There are hidden cuts in fact but like Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope or Alejandro Iñárritu’smore recent Birdman, 1917 aims to deliver the experience of an uninterrupted take.The set-up is straightforward – on April 6, 1917, two young British soldiers must cross enemylines to deliver a critical message to British troops who are on the opposite side.They are given their mission within the first couple of minutes of the film.We then take the journey with them.The single shot format puts us into their shoes – we've got no idea what’s coming nextand we are discovering the terrain as they're.We don’t get the respite of a cut.I will admit that mid-way, my nerves were so frayed that i used to be grateful for the intervalthat Indian theaters put into effect.It allowed me to reclaim my emotions a touch.Lance Corporal Blake, played by Dean-Charles Chapman and noncom Schofield, playedby George MacKay have a youthful bravery that's heart-breaking.They are basically children fidgeting with death.Bodies loom large during this film – men, rats, dogs, cows.In one scene, Schofield plunges his hand into the open stomach of a corpse.And yet, despite the omnipresent death and destruction, 1917 feels throbbing and thrillingly alive.The fluid cinematography, which moves from ground level to a bird’s eye view, hurlsus into the middle of the action.The camera glides round the men and sometimes pivots to catch faraway action.And we are right there with them, almost like another character.The production design by Dennis Gassner is additionally meticulously detailed.Mendes immerses us into the hell of war.There is no throw off the misery and therefore the mud, the cold and therefore the chaos.But the realistic textures are offset by surreal touches.The No Man’s Land that these men cross looks like an enormous wasteland.In one sequence, the terrain is lit by yellow phosphorescent haze, sort of a nether world.It’s grand and tragically beautiful.Thomas Newman’s sparingly used music heightens the piercing sense of unfathomable loss.The babyish, unlined faces of Chapman and MacKay underline the absurdity of this particularwar and people yet to come back.These boys are unstintingly brave but their courage seems futile.They are heroic but during this brutal and unforgiving battle, there aren't any heroes.At its heart, 1917 could be a portrait of the pointlessness of war and thus a plea for peace.There will be times within the film when the craft might distract you.I found myself trying to catch the hidden cuts – during a sequence within which Schofieldfalls into a river, i used to be wondering how the cameras were rigged.But mostly 1917 is electrifying but also quietly emotional.If you’re watching only one film in the week, make it this one.



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