A technical marvel, but a very average story behind it - 7/10

by Movies-Graded

Performances: 8/10
Screenplay: 5/10
Special Effects: 7/10
Costumes/Makeup: 8/10
Cinematography: 10/10
Score/Soundtrack: 9/10
Verdict: If movies were judged on their technical achievements only, then "1917" would and should without a shadow of a doubt be considered an instant classic. But unfortunately for Sam Mendes, their main objective is to tell a compelling story, and I believe this is where the film fell a little flat.
I could go on for days praising Roger Deakins' work in this movie, and I'd recommend it for his input alone. He made the entire film look like it was happening in real time by presenting it as if it was one single continuous shot. This of course comes with incredibly high stakes as the actors have to undergo extremely long takes without making the slightest of mistakes, and while there were a few dodgy performance, the main ones by Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay were spot on. Thomas Newman's score also deserves a shout out as it elevated the atmosphere and injected some desperately needed emotion into it. However, and as mentioned earlier, flawless execution doesn't automatically guarantee a great movie, and "1917" is a prime example of that statement. The story is simple, yet filled with conveniences, cheese and questionable character decisions. For a movie that invites the audience to participate in the characters' journey, I felt incredibly detached due to all these issues as well as the needless over-dramatization of some scenes and a dialogue I just couldn't find interesting or engaging in the slightest.
Had the film's script matched the quality of its execution, I would've immediately considered "1917" one of the finest war films ever made, but unfortunately, it felt more like a mediocre story told in an impressive way. It didn't quite make my best of the year list for that particular reason, but it definitely holds a spot in my honorable mentions.

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