Movie Review: 1917 highlights the details of World War l

by Dane Shaw and Brian Bolger

Ten time Grammy nominated film 1917 is the most intense movie in theaters today. 1917 is a courageous World War l story that took place during the third battle of Ypres in France. The movie is about two British soldiers, Schofield and Blake, who were given direct orders to cross into German territory to warn a battalion of 1,600 soldiers, including Blake’s brother, of a deadly attack by German forces.  

1917  is based on true events, but many of the details were fictionalized by director Sam Mendes. The story line of the movie is well thought out and provides entertainment for the viewer as well as educates the viewer on the inhumane conditions of war.

The movie 1917 draws the viewer in right from the start. From the bloody trenches to the blown apart towns of France and with the help from the “one take” filming technique, the movie does not fail to create an intense mood that does not leave throughout the duration of the movie. 

Even though no one today could physically be in the trenches and on the battlefields of World War l, the lifeless corpses of fallen soldiers and the large rats that would eat at their decaying bodies made it feel as if the viewer was really there.

Mendes used a gripping film style and edited it to look as if it was shot in one take. This was an important feature because it created a strong feeling of suspense throughout the duration of the movie. From the beginning to the end, the camera does not leave the two main characters. 

The film highlights every gory aspect of World War l. Before watching the film, I had some background on World War l. After watching the film, I felt like I had learned so much more about the war and what it was like. During the movie, when Schofield and Blake are crossing through “No Man’s Land,” it is eye opening to see how much is destroyed and how many deceased soldiers are lying in the craters. 

My biggest issue with 1917 is the timeline. Although the film style made the movie that much more intense, it also made the film that much harder to follow. Schofield and Blake’s given mission took an estimated 12 hours but was condensed into a 2-hour film. With only one cut scene–approrpriate to the moment when Schofield was shot–which was used to kill time in the movie, it made the film’s timeline very hard to keep track of. 

Despite the few imperfections, it is a memorable film.  1917 has been nominated for 10 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Music Score, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Sound Editing. Of those ten, I would say that the film will win 3: Best Picture because of the film technique, Best Director, and Best Sound Editing. On Rotten Tomatoes the film is rated at an 8.4 out of 10, We would have to agree and rate it as an 8.5 out of 10 for its never ending intensity and its ability to capture every part of World War l through the continuous film style.