It must have been easy to feel like a 1917 gimmick. Sam Mendes ‘WWI epic (which was based on a story Mendes’ maternal grandfather told him about his time in the war) was shot and edited to see that it caught on at the same time, the best Oscar-winning Birdman and other one-shot films before that.
To his credit, Mendes and his famous cinematographer Roger Deakins have rarely drawn attention, paying no attention to what is happening on their Camarcos – not to say that their approach is entirely effective. Either. 1917 is well-acted and an undeniable technical achievement, yet its real-time story is the film’s greatest strength and biggest problem.
The film was made on 6 April 1917 in northern France. WWI immediately surrounded them, leaving young British soldiers Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Schofield (George McKay) with an urgent mission that placed them in enemy territory recently vacated by the German Army Drop Off is. Will need to cross.
Their top commander, General Erinmore (Colin Firth), believes the withdrawal is indeed strategic and the Germans are laying traps for a British battalion of 1,600 men, with Blake’s brother among them. With the British Army’s phone lines disabled, Blake and Schofield must trek treacherously by the following morning and reach the battalion by the next morning, warning them of the German’s intention to leave ahead of time.
For the most part, 1917 succeeds in drawing its audience on top of its protagonist and using its single structure to capture the psychological experience of being in a war zone, where death can come to you in the blink of an eye. Filmed by Thomas Neumann’s worrying theatrical score (which broadcasts Hans Gimmer’s music from Dunkirk several times), the film showcases every second of Blake and Scofield’s odyssey with a sense of urgency as a more traditional filmmaking style.
There are some occasions when it is clear that the pair of extended pairs were welded together in post-production, but otherwise, Mendes, Deakins, and editor Lee Smith do a seamless job of creating the illusion that everything was a constant take. And as one would expect, the atmosphere of 1917 is very lightly lit, whether those empty trenches are dropped from badly corpses and barbed wire, or bombed buildings.
However, by the time the film enters its second half, its design flaws begin to be more clearly revealed. The terrible insensitivity and mindless destruction of the First World War in 1917 is clearly expressed, the way the camera shows the massacre left by the big fighting and the air of discontent among the British forces that it is only about a few I do not want to say.
The psychological effects of the war, but how WWI was a time of great change in terms of technology and Europe’s class system. Still, there is not enough room to breathe and drown in the quieter and more reflective scenes of Mendes and Christie Wilson-Cairns, as 1917 maintains a constant sense of forwarding movement.
The cases of 1917 do not have to be relied upon for help. It struggles tirelessly to maintain its momentum as a big storyline. At its worst, the film can feel like an open-world video game, where Blake and Schofield are avatars for players who must complete a sequence of tasks to make it to the next Cuttack.
Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Schofield (George MacKay) do an excellent job of portraying two ordinary soldiers who suddenly fall into extraordinary (and utterly horrible) situations but navigate them with courage, compassion, and determination, even One of the most supporting characters they fight are the likes of Mendes, who is playing. By whom. Larger talents such as Firth, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Madden, and Hot Priest, Andrew Scott, pay off similarly, allowing them to make their mark in very limited screen time.
Blake, Scofield, and the people on their desperate treks discover the importance of small actions and acts of mercy during terrible times. It’s just bad that it’s being overshadowed by the exciting ride elements of the film.
Mendes has a background in both film and stage theater, so one can understand that the 1917 one-shot esthetic – a technique that combines elements of both mediums – appealed to him. The resulting film is a more successful experiment, but it also shows the limitations of the filmmaking genre and why there are notable versions.