Date watched: February 1st, 2020
Year released: 2019
First time watching?: Yes
From IMDb: “April 6th, 1917. As a regiment assembles to wage war deep in enemy territory, two soldiers are assigned to race against time and deliver a message that will stop 1,600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap.”
Awards season in the movie business inevitably brings us movies set during a war because Hollywood knows these movies are almost guaranteed to be nominated. “1917” tells a story that is really just one single moment during Word War One, and not even necessarily a huge impactful one on the war, but nonetheless these stories are the real gritty ones when it comes to the World Wars, and I always find the World Wars to be absolutely engrossing and fascinating, in whatever capacity.
“1917” is shot to look like like one single long take, so from the point of view of out main characters, it is told in real time. This means as they experience and encounter obstacles, we encounter them alongside them.Under certain circumstances, this could make the movie feel slow paced, but at no point did this movie feel slow. There was always something happening, and changing, and new obstacles for them to overcome on their journey, and I think that choosing to show this in real time really added to the tension of the war and the danger they faced on their journey.
A lot of time was spent with our two main actors, George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman, and there is always a risk with films that focus on one or two characters that they will be unlikeable or that you cannot connect with one of them, but they were both absolutely fantastic in their respective roles. In fact, there is a moment around halfway through where they both really shone and demonstrated the full ranges of their acting abilities.
As I’m writing this, the BAFTA’s have already been awarded this year, and I know “1917” scooped up the awards for ‘Best Film’ and ‘Best British Film’ amongst others, and although I’ll be honest and say I don’t put much score in the movie awards any more, nor have I seen all the movies nominated in these categories, I do feel it is a movie well deserving os some recognition.
My rating: 9/10