Film Reviews Cat

1917 (2019)

7.5/10

The movie “1917” covers the journey of two English soldiers that are sent out on a mission to prevent a battalion of 1600 man from attacking the Germans. The reason behind this is that the Germans try to lure in English forces into a deathtrap situation. The story is also about camaraderie as the two young soldiers have to be there for one another to accomplish their mission.

Firstly, I can guarantee you that you will love the cinematics. The colors and details are simply mesmerizing, and the director established amazing camera shots and angles. I would say that the first 30 minute of this movie are the best because the story just started and there is not much action going on. This means that you have the chance to really enjoy the entire setting. I would even go as far as to say that this entire movie is fully built around cinematics, and that plot is merely secondary. 

This brings me to the issues that I have with this movie. “1917” is a great war movie from a cinematic perspective, but the plot is often not realistic to the point that it  pulls you totally out of the film. Instead of following the story I would often say to myself; “Oh come on, this can’t be happening”. This prevents an immersive film experience. It will be difficult to give you examples without spoiling too much, but i will try anyway. The first issue that I had with this movie is when one of the two English soldiers cut himself and washed his wound with water from his canteen. A few scenes later the same soldier washed his eyes out with water from that same canteen. Why would anyone waste so much water in such circumstances? It was as if there was fresh water around every corner, and therefore they could just waste it. The other issue was that one of the two communicated way too loudly in a situation where you would need to be extremely quiet. It was as if I was watching a musical without the music. Being overly expressive (in dialogue) to let the audience know what each character is thinking is not a good thing given these war scenes. I would suggest more facial expressions and less dialogue. Moreover, it is totally crazy how one of them manages to outrun numerous enemy soldiers who are shooting at him from close range. And there is an issue with one scene in which a young French woman knows enough English to communicate with one of the English soldiers. Additionally, there are many ignorant decisions that were made by the characters, but I can live with these as the two are young, and not experienced war veterans. I could go on about these annoying moments, but you get the picture by now. 

If you are looking for a war movie to watch then “1917” could be something for you IF you like war genre musicals (or films) like “Miss Saigon”. However, if you are the type of person who wants to watch a “full metal jacket” (1987) movie then “1917” is not for you. This movie could have been so much better if the acting was ‘film acting’, and not ‘theater/stage acting’. To conclude I would say that I am very pleased with this movie from a cinematic experience, but if I would focus on the plot then it’s just disappointing. Overall a 7.5/10 is still kind of a high grade for this movie but I couldn’t go any lower because the cinematography is way too good. The last thing I will say about this film is that I would suggest watching this movie if you are in film school, or if you are part of the film landscape. Otherwise I don’t think that the majority of people will find it very interesting given the length which is 119 minutes, and all the unrealistic elements (unless you like “Miss Saigon”).

Directed by Sam Mendes. Writing: Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns. 

Cast:
Dean-Charles ChapmanLance Corporal Blake
George MacKayLance Corporal Schofield
Daniel MaysSergeant Sanders
Colin FirthGeneral Erinmore
Pip CarterLieutenant Gordon
Andy ApolloSergeant Miller

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