“1917” is most certainly the film we’re setting our dollars on for the Best Picture sweep, this brand new war flick tags along two soldiers who are assigned to deliver a message that will prevent 1,600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap.
To begin with, this beast of a technical achievement rules out words capable of describing it from start to finish. We fell in love with Sam Mendes’s Skyfall back in 2012, but his work here is nothing short of revolutionary, he mustered his artistic powers to their full potential and assembled this immersive experience on the back of mind-boggling cinematography, superb editing, exquisite production design, and Thomas Newman’s climactic score. Roger Deakins’s cinematoghraphy is basically the aiding spell that further glamorizes the whole emprise, the one continuous shot is not merely a technical ultimatum, but one that exists to strike the stakes up through the roof, Mendes’s direction burdens you with the terrors of war due to its authentic and flawless execution, the camera drags you into the real thing, the mud, the river, the hideouts, the dread. It’s there to dramatize the experience, and intensify the sequences, which were nail-biting through the entirety of the film, primarily due to the fact that the characters never insert themselves in impervious and safe environments, they’re always routed into harm’s way and that’s why you remain on the lookout through most of it. But the movie’s simple premise averts it from hitting the bullseye, not in the film-making tab of it, but narratively speaking. Although the pair, Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay, both send out incredible performances that tangle you with their perilous mission and try to force you into caring, but it just wasn’t enough. We’re not claiming that the film failed miserably at constructing its characters, we’re just simply pointing out that they didn’t do their best in that specific territory. Although, one valuable advantage does stem out of the film’s incomplex and not too character defined plot, it’s the fact that the film never attempts to exemplify heroism or lay it out in plain open, it smoothly puts a highlight on the characters’s vulnerabilities and their fragility either physical or sentimental, but it does it with complete rationale and without coming off as shabby in any way. Overall, “1917” is a technical marvel, one that prevails mainly due to its implausible film-making efforts, but that doesn’t imply that the case is similar in the storytelling part of it, as we mentioned earlier on, that’s where the film falls a bit flat! “1917” is a cinematic feast to the eyes but it’s narrative doesn’t empower it to come eye to eye with its creative competence!
⚖️ Final Rating: 8.5/10