- 1 hr 59 min
1917 is a gripping World War I drama, directed by Sam Mendes, that tells the story of two young soldiers, Lance Corporals Blake and Schofield, who are given the daunting mission of crossing enemy lines to deliver a message to British troops, warning them of an ambush that could result in catastrophic tragedy. The message is time-sensitive, and the stakes are high. The entire regiment of 1,600 men, including Blake's own brother, are at risk.
Set in the year 1917, in the midst of the war, the film starts out with Blake and Schofield lounging in a quiet corner of the trenches in northern France. It's clear that they're not seasoned soldiers â they're boys playing at being men. But when they're summoned by their commanding officer, General Erinmore (Colin Firth), and given the task of delivering a warning to a battalion 9 miles away across No Man's Land, their carefree attitude is quickly replaced by dread and determination.
The film is presented as if it were shot in a single, continuous take. This creates a sense of urgency and immediacy, as the camera follows Blake and Schofield as they trek through the mud and debris of the war-torn landscape. There are no cuts or breaks, which makes the viewer feel as if they're right there with the two soldiers.
The cinematography in 1917 is stunning. The film is shot by Roger Deakins, who won an Academy Award for his work on Blade Runner 2049. Deakins employs a variety of camera techniques to make the viewer feel like they're part of the story. In one particularly impressive shot, the camera weaves in and out of the trenches, pausing to capture the faces of soldiers as they try to keep their spirits up in the midst of a war that seems to have no end.
Despite the grim setting, the film features moments of beauty and tenderness. There's a touching scene where Schofield finds a young French woman and her baby hiding in a bombed-out building. It's a brief respite from the chaos of the war, but it's also a reminder that amidst the devastation, there are still human connections to be made.
As they journey deeper into enemy territory, Blake and Schofield encounter numerous obstacles, including snipers, booby traps, and flooded trenches. Their exhaustion and fear are palpable, but they push on, driven by the urgency of their mission.
Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay deliver excellent performances as Blake and Schofield. They anchor the film with their youthful energy and determination, but also convey the weight of the mission that's been thrust upon them. Daniel Mays also shines in a supporting role as Sergeant Sanders, who provides the two soldiers with some much-needed guidance and support.
1917 is not an easy film to watch. It's an unflinching depiction of the brutality of war and the toll it takes on those who are forced to fight. But it's also a film that celebrates the heroism and sacrifice of those who fought in the Great War.
In conclusion, 1917 is a masterfully crafted film that is both harrowing and stirring. The cinematography and performances are outstanding, and the film's unrelenting sense of tension will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. It's a film that will stay with you long after you've left the theater.
1917 is a 2019 war movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 59 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.2 and a MetaScore of 78.