MOVIE REVIEW

1917
RELEASE DATE: January 10, 2020 (wide)
MPAA RATING: R (for violence, some disturbing images, and language)

The film’s title reflects the time at which the story takes place. Set in and around the height of World War I, two young British soldiers, Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman), are called upon, destined to become reluctant heroes, as they receive orders to cross through enemy territory to deliver a message that is meant to halt a bloody attack that would mean the slaughtering of hundreds of soldiers, including Blake’s brother.

Although the narrative is certainly compelling, what makes this film unique is the style in which writer/director Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty) conveys the horrors of war. In what is perceived to be one, continuous, seamless sequence occurring in real time, the viewer is brought into the trenches along with our Lance Corporal protagonists. Credit here must also be given to cinematographer Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049, Skyfall, Jarhead), whose creative talents brought the images to life and gave the feeling of one tracking shot the length of the film, when in realty there were many seamless cuts.

Quite simply stated, 1917 is a marvel in the art and science of filmmaking.