Taken strictly on those terms, the film is undeniably impressive—Roger Deakins is one of the all-time great cinematographers and his work here on what must have been a fiendishly challenging shoot is as impressive as anything he has done. By comparison, there is hardly a moment to be had in “1917” in which Mendes is not calling out for viewers to notice all the technical brilliance on display. At certain points, the story stops dead for brief appearances by familiar faces like Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Strong in exposition-heavy sequences that feel exactly like the cut scenes that appear between the different levels in video games. Full Review Page 1 of 23 When all is said and done, "1917" is basically a gimmick film. In my opinion, 1917 was a great film from a production and historical perspective! 1917 stuns its audience by switching protagonists early on, which is a tactic regularly used by horror movies to keep viewers on their toes. Sam Mendes’s 1917 is a particularly beautiful war film, a technical feat that turns a somber mission into a burnished action thriller, one designed to … ... Synopsis. ‘1917’ Review: War Is Hell, One Shot at a Time Director Sam Mendes delivers a story of WWI soldiers on a mission that’s a technical accomplishment — and a … [1917 has] a rather simple plot for what turns out to be one of those rare films that can be truly worthy of the title Cinematic Experience. It's been already three devastating years into the costly World War I, and the Imperial German Army seems to have retreated from their position in the battle-scarred Western Front--an elaborate scheme designed to lure the Allies into a deadly trap. The significance of that move depends on whether you’re reading German or Allied accounts. The cinematography was unique with its one-shot sequence, and the music was very dynamic and purposeful! Offers. British trenches somewhere in France. The entire movie is filmed as one continuous shot from start to finish with characters moving from place to place in real-time. (Oddly enough, the most blatantly obvious method used to hide a cut—one of the characters being briefly knocked unconscious—is actually the most dramatically effective of the bunch.) But at the same time Welles was pulling off this trick with the aid of cinematographer Russell Metty, he was setting up the story and introducing several of the key characters quickly and efficiently. Take the famous opening scene in Orson Welles' “Touch of Evil,” for example. On the ground in France, it appears that the German army has retreated, but Allied reconnaissance planes have reported to a British battalion that it … Blake and Schofield's stories as it pertains to them as soldiers in the bigger picture of the war, as soldiers trying to stay alive, as friends, and as human beings who have their own motivations are told for as long as they are able to survive on this mission. This was clearly a fiendishly complicated project to stage and execute and there are some scenes (such as an especially tense one set in a seemingly abandoned shelter that contains a few nasty surprises), that are legitimate knockouts. What makes a true hero? The only problem with 1917 is the teeth. If the message is not received in time the regiment will walk into a trap and be massacred. Stuff the belly, sleep, return home to Christmas Eve. On a battlefield in Northern France, Lance Corporal Tom Blake with the British Army is asked to choose one of his battalion colleagues to join him on an assignment, he choosing his best friend, Lance Corporal Will Schofield. “1917” is not entirely without interest. “1917” essentially wants to do for World War I what “Saving Private Ryan” did for World War II and “Platoon” did for Vietnam—provide a visceral depiction of the horrors of combat for viewers whose only frame of reference for those conflicts has been history books or other movies. “1917,” the new film from Sam Mendes, is the latest attempt at the feature-length single-shot approach, and its technical accomplishments cannot be denied. Of course, the two have been assured that where they will be crossing is safe enough, but the tension within the soldiers they meet as they get closer to the front, and the recent nature of the carnage they witness when they first go over the top, suggests otherwise. World war has been going on for the third year, heroic illusions have dissipated; general mood - boredom and fatigue. It isn't until Blake chooses Schofield that they learn of the dangerous nature of the mission: to hand deliver a message to Colonel MacKenzie leading another nearby battalion, they having to cross no man's land to what they have been told are now the abandoned German trenches to get to MacKenzie just past the nearby town of Écoust. ENTER CITY, STATE OR ZIP CODE GO. Running time: 117 minutes. Fandango FANALERT® Sign up for a FANALERT® to find out when tickets are available in your area. 1917 Is a Movie About the Horrors of War, Told With a Devotion to Beauty and Life. With the radio lines down, Blake and Schofield are ordered to head on foot to that company in order to call off the attack before it can commence, a journey that will force them to travel through enemy territory. In a race against time, they must cross over into enemy territory to deliver a message that could potentially save 1,600 of their fellow comrades -- including Blake's own brother. ‘1917’ movie review: Digging deep into the trenches, dazzling with each step Namrata Joshi January 17, 2020 15:39 IST Updated: January 17, 2020 15:41 IST Namrata Joshi This is not a bad idea for a film, but "1917" never quite comes alive in the way that Mendes presumably hoped, and much of the reason for that is the direct result of how he has deployed to tell his story. In theaters Dec. 25. The World War I film from Skyfall director Sam Mendes is … HBO's Painting with John is a Magnetic Celebration of Arts and Artists, The Nostalgia of Epix's Bridge and Tunnel is Filled with Wrong Turns, The Sister Sacrifices Logic, Tension as Its Twists Unravel, Visions of Friendship: Michael Angelo Covino and Kyle Marvin on The Climb. Now, I enjoy an extended single-shot sequence that exists solely for a filmmaker to show off their technical finesse, but if I were to make a list of the most effective one-shot sequences, they would be the ones that are so absorbing for other reasons that we don’t even register at first that they have been done in what looks like one long take. April 6th, 1917. To get to the regiment they will need to cross through enemy territory. Instead of gradually fading into the background in order to make room for elements of a more dramatic or emotional nature, the distracting technique remains front and center. From Feb. 23 to April 5 of that year, the Germans were moving their troops to the Hindenburg Line and roughly along the Aisne River, around a 27-mile area from Arras to Bapaume, France. for violence, some disturbing images, and language. | Granted, one of the reasons that the visual style ends up dominating the proceedings is because there isn’t really much of anything on hand here that has much chance of stealing focus. That certainly holds when it comes to the plot of director Sam Mendes’s new WWI epic, 1917, which just won Best Motion Picture – Drama at the … If that is enough for you, you may admire it for its accomplishments. To get to the regiment they will need to cross through enemy territory. Partially inspired by stories told to Mendes by his paternal grandfather Alfred about his service during World War I, the film takes place after the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line during Operation Alberich, and follows two British soldiers, Will Schofield (George MacKay) and Tom Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman), in their mission to deliver an important message to call off a doomed offensiv… 1917 (Film) Summary April 16, 1917. Granted, it's not a new idea, but the concept of an extended single shot, whether the shot is meant to stretch for an entire movie, or just serve as the focus for an especially showy scene, still has the power to excite viewers on some basic level. Parents need to know that 1917 is an outstanding World War I drama that makes viewers feel like they're experiencing what it might really have been like to be in the trenches on the front lines. The message, which must reach its destination by dawn tomorrow, is for MacKenzie to abort his troop's attack then on the supposedly retreating Germans who are in reality lying in wait, the Germans having planned this deception for months. 1917 is a bit of a brag track, a cinematic flex by people who are really damn good with a camera. On April 6, 1917--with the lives of 1,600 fellow soldiers hanging by a thread--the best friends and British Army Lance Corporals, Tom Blake and Will Schofield, undertake a peril-laden mission to hand-deliver an urgent, life-saving message to Colonel MacKenzie's Second Battalion of the Devonshire line infantry regiment. The result is a populist, immersive drama that leads the viewer through the trenches and battlefields of northern France, as two young British soldiers attempt to … Time is of the essence and the journey will be fraught with danger. The lives of MacKenzie and his 1,600 men are at risk if the message does not make it through in time, one of those men being Blake's brother, Lt. Joseph Blake. Synopsis On 6 April 1917, aerial reconnaissance has observed that the German army, which has pulled back from a sector of the Western Front in northern France, is not in retreat but has made a strategic withdrawal to the new Hindenburg Line, where they are waiting to overwhelm the British with artillery. 1917 is truly a marvelous fantastic war film like no other! Schofield and Lance Cpl. When he did finally make a cut, it came as a genuine shock. The problem is that the visual conceit can’t help but draw attention to itself throughout, whether it is due to the increasingly showy camera moves or the sometimes awkward methods that are deployed to camouflage the edits and which begin to stick out more and more. 1917 is set over the course of 6 April (the day on which the US joined the First World War, though that event goes unmentioned on screen) and staged, like Birdman and Rope before it, to give the appearance of having been shot in an almost continuous take. Personally, I wanted more. 1917 is a 2019 British war film directed and produced by Sam Mendes, who co-wrote the film with Krysty Wilson-Cairns. R (for violence, some disturbing images, and language). 1917 movie review: Director Sam Mendes reunites with cinematographer Roger Deakins to create one of the best war movies of all time, a technical masterpiece that will stun you speechless. A quick summary of what 1917 is all about. Directed, produced, and co-written by Sam Mendes, 1917 is a war drama that focuses on two young British soldiers who are fighting in World War I. However, recent intelligence suggests that the retreat is a ruse that will land them in ambush that will cost thousands of British lives. Plot Keywords Taglines Two British soldiers are sent to deliver an urgent message to an isolated regiment. Enter your location to see which movie theaters are playing 1917 (2019) near you. Schofield and Lance Cpl. A few miles away, another company, one that includes Blake’s brother, has planned an attack to commence in a few hours designed to push the Germans back even further following a recent retreat. In the British trenches, with field telephone lines cut, two young British soldiers, Lance Corporals William Schofield, a veteran of the Somme, and Tom Blake, are ordered by General Erinmore to carry a message to Colonel Mackenzie of the Second Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment, calling off a scheduled attack that would jeopardise the lives of 1,600 men, including Blake's brother Lieutenant Joseph Blake. If you haven't watched it yet, you can read Salon's non-spoilery review. Peter Sobczynski is a contributor to eFilmcritic.com and Magill's Cinema Annual and can be heard weekly on the nationally syndicated "Mancow's Morning Madhouse" radio show. Movie Info During World War I, two British soldiers -- Lance Cpl. Director Sam Mendes wrote the screenplay based on the stories his grandfather told him about being a runner in the British Army. '1917,' starring George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman, is a demanding movie about World War I that will leave you breathless. Movie review 1917. During World War I, two British soldiers -- Lance Cpl. “1917” essentially wants to do for World War I what “ Saving Private Ryan ” did for World War II and “ Platoon ” did for Vietnam—provide a visceral depiction of the horrors of combat for viewers whose only frame of reference for those conflicts has been history books or other movies. Sam Mendes' ambitious World War I film presents the harrowing odyssey of two British soldiers in one seemingly continuous shot. "1917" is a movie that perfectly fits … Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay in 1917 S am Mendes’s 1917 is an amazingly audacious film; as exciting as a heist movie, disturbing as a sci-fi nightmare. On 6 April 1917, aerial reconnaissance has observed that the German army, which has pulled back from a sector of the Western Front in northern France, is not in retreat but has made a strategic withdrawal to the new Hindenburg Line, where they are waiting to overwhelm the British with artillery. The epic 1917 follows two soldiers on a mission to save 1,600; with “astonishing” cinematography and direction, Caryn James writes “it’s one of the most stirring films of the year”. As indicated by the title, “1917” is set amidst the turmoil of World War I and takes place in and around the so-called “no man’s land” in northern France separating British and German troops. 1917 review: WWI film exposes the limitations of immersive filmmaking While Sam Mendes’ two-take structure works well for ramping up the claustrophobia, it … April 1917, the Western Front. At a time when it seems as if cinema experiences a new technological breakthrough every few months, it's oddly comforting that moviegoers can still be hooked by a film that's presented as being one unbroken shot. April 1917, the Western Front. Yes, it is a technical marvel. Two soldiers embark on a dangerous mission to save 1,600 men from certain doom during World War I. Two British soldiers are sent to deliver an urgent message to an isolated regiment. With this in mind, amid the horrors of an uncannily silent no man's land, the young brothers-in-arms must traverse nine long miles of hostile enemy terrain in the French countryside, to reach the 2nd Devons in time and call off the imminent attack. April 6, 1917. The story of 1917 takes place on April 6, and it’s partly inspired by events that had just ended on April 5. 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. And yet, for all of its technical expertise, little of it helps viewers to care about the characters or what might happen to them. 1917 Movie Review Rating: 5/5 Stars (Five stars)Star Cast: George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Mark Strong, Richard Madden, Colin … Two young corporals, Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Schofield (George MacKay), are awoken from what could have only been a few minutes of sleep and ordered to report for a new assignment. Synopsis 1917 Review On 6 April 1917 — three years into World War I – two young British soldiers in northern France, Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman), are … | And yet, that first glimpse of the literal Hell on earth they must journey through is only a taste of what they have to endure—at one point, one of them inadvertently plunges a hand recently sliced by barbed wire into the open wound of a corpse and that turns out to be one of the less excruciating moments in store for them. Blake -- receive seemingly impossible orders. Two thousand nineteen was the Year of Ambition at the movies. The storyline concocted by Mendes and co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns too often feels like an amalgamation of such classic WWI films as "The Big Parade," “All Quiet on the Western Front” and "Paths of Glory." In 1917 during the first World War, Corporals Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean Charles-Chapman) are sleeping under a tree when they are awoken by a sergeant, who asks Blake to pick another soldier and report to his superior. Blake -- receive seemingly impossible orders. Sitting through it is like watching someone else playing a video game for two solid hours, and not an especially compelling one at that. I do agree with many of the comments that this film is great for people to watch due to its clear intentionality or attitude awareness. | Everything about this movie is just magnificent, from the action, to the story, to the incredible feat of filming the entire movie in like two long Now, two ordinary troopers walk into certain death. The Germans saw it as an “adjustment” and “simply moving needed resources to the best location,” while the Allies call the Germa… Parents Guide. Director Sam Mendes has found a way to breathe life into the war movie with a simple story, imaginatively told, in "1917," arguably the year's most impressive cinematic accomplishment. You must see this movie to truly appreciate every aspect of this amazing movie. But the film is so obsessed with its particular technique that it doesn’t leave room for the other things we also go to the movies for—little things like a strong story, interesting characters, or a reason for existing other than as a feat of technical derring-do. On another quiet day, when nothing happens, two young soldiers, Blake and Schofield, are summoned to the general, who instructs them to send an important message to Colonel MacKenzie in the Second Devonshire Battalion, whose telephone connection was cut off by the enemy. If the message is not received in time the regiment will walk into a trap and be massacred. The following contains minor spoilers for "1917." 1917 (Film) study guide contains a biography of director Sam Mendes, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Rated R Seemingly continuous shot opinion, 1917 of the essence and the music was very dynamic purposeful... 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