On the surface 1917 may seem as if it could be a fairly generic war film with a one take “gimmick” but fortunately it is as far away from that as a film could be.
1917 is based upon Mendes’ grandfather’s stories of World War I, which becomes in my opinion one of the main reasons this film stands out. Surprisingly heartfelt and emotionally affective, Mendes excels hitting every beat as you grow more and more invested in these soldiers mission. Although there are explosions and gunfire, 1917 makes it known that this is more of a survival film than a “war” film in the traditional sense.
George McKay and Dean-Charles Chapman do some great work here along with a very solid who’s who of supporting actors.
Deakins of course brings all of his talent to the films cinematography, with a very naturalistic look which really helps to sell the realism. With the film being meticulously stitches together by visual effects artists to appear as one take, you might expect some obvious transitions, but with 1917 you are presented with possibly the best example of blending of takes into one coherent shot.
1917 is a stellar technical achievement that somehow also has an extremely effective emotional heart, making for one of my favourite films in the last year.
1917 is in Cinemas this week, thanks to Universal for the screening!