1917 is a film that opens the year 2020 with great promise. At the end of January, this film was released in all theaters, although in fact this film had premiered overseas at the end of 2019. This is the best war film I've watched since Dunkirk in 2017, which also tells about British soldiers. who had to fight against the Germans.
I think Dunkirk is still “better” than 1917 , but that doesn't mean 1917 is a bad movie. Not at all, it is probably the most ambitious war film ever made. What is clear is that this is the most ambitious film ever made by director Sam Mendes and cinematographer Roger Deakins. This is a film that never stops running because it is made in such a way as to look like a film taken on a “ one-shot ”.
This technique helps tell the story of the two soldiers who are the main characters in this film, Corporal William Schofield (George MacKay) and Corporal Tom Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) who were assigned by their General to send a letter containing an order to stop the attack on one of the battalions. British troops, because the retreat of German troops was only a strategy to trap British troops.
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Both Schofield - or as they are often called "Scho" -, and Blake know how important their mission is, because the lives of as many as 1600 are at stake at that time. If it fails to deliver the warrant, 1600 lives will be lost in the massacre. And the film begins, with the two corporalts preparing to enter enemy territory in order to reach the Écoust area, where the battalion squad they wish to commemorate is located. What made the mission even more important was the fact that Blake's older brother was in the battalion squad.
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It is a war film, but it is also a thriller . The tension I felt while watching was very real, and it tells more about the psychology of a soldier than the war. And that tension can stick with me for two hours because this movie feels like one scene. From beginning to end, the first scene continues without any cuts or " cuts ", so the story runs very smoothly, the tension remains, and the story is told without any distractions.
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What makes this film feel so good is the technical side. Both Sam Mendes and Roger Deakins were able to make this film as if it was made in a " one-shot ", something that I probably rarely saw. Maybe the last time I saw this technique was in the 2014 film Birdman . This technique was also used in the video game released in 2018, God of War .
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The film opens with our two main characters sleeping soundly under a large tree, with a vast field in the background. Then we follow the motions, step by step, as they are summoned before their General. Then again we follow them, step by step, as they go down a trench that is very busy with British soldiers. And after that, without stopping, we still follow them as they traverse the vastness of the battlefield, past piles of human and horse corpses, over barbed wire fences.
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All of it was done as if it were taken only in “ one-shot ”. Medang of war, tunnels, ditches, empty cities, with Sam Mendes skillfully takes us directly to his world, where it is as if we are indeed following Scho and Blake in carrying out a "life-or-death" mission in the midst of the ferocity of war in amidst the beauty of France.
Roger Deakins is indeed one of the best cinematographers today. Just look at previous films such as Skyfall , Sicario and Blade Runner 2049 . It can turn a film, no matter what film it is, into a very beautiful and beautiful film. Likewise with 1917 . Even though he has to shoot the entire scene without stopping, he still manages to make every second of the film into a dazzling image.
One scene that actually amazed me, namely when Scho was in the middle of the city of Écoust at night. The darkness of the city was beautifully lit by the light from a flare that shot across the sky and was lit by the magnitude of the flames that were consuming a building. The scene is extraordinary, because Roger Deakins was able to make the scene and make it in " one-shot " only so that the scene really comes to life in this film.
Not only is the cinematography very beautiful, but another thing that makes this film very lively is that it is shot as if it were in a " one-shot ", so that the story told is never choked up. From the beginning to the end of the film we can clearly follow Scho's movement in carrying out his mission. There are no good scenes, no bad scenes, because the entire film is one scene and 1917 can take us from start to finish without a hitch.
From a technical point of view, this film is indeed a champion. But actors George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman are equally good at portraying two characters who struggle through the harshness of the battlefield. Both of them show how cruel, ferocious, and sadistic a war is. Not only them, but also other veteran actors such as Mark Strong ( Kingsman: The Secret Service ), Colin Firth ( The King's Speech ), and Benedict Cumberbatch ( The Imitation Game ) also - even if only for a moment - were able to give a convincing and convincing appearance. become important characters in the film.
1917 might just be on my list of 10 best films of 2020. From a technical point of view, this is a film that has managed to have a new milestone. Brutal, intense, yet beautifully crafted and stunning, 1917 is a war film that is very different from previous films, and again shows that Sam Mendes and Roger Deakins are very skilled filmmakers.
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