1917 Movie Review by Film Critic Seth Kitchen
Watched on 1/11/2019
During World War I, two British soldiers -- Lance Cpl. Schofield and Lance Cpl. Blake -- receive seemingly impossible orders. In a race against time, they must cross over into enemy territory to deliver a message that could potentially save 1,600 of their fellow comrades -- including Blake's own brother.
Who would have thought a World War I movie would be interesting? Trench warfare is the definition of staring at a wall daily until something happens.
But this one is the opposite. This one is going to be in the running for many awards and should win. To film an entire movie in only a few shots takes a crazy amount of skill and the result is surreal perspective.
The camera mirrors what the characters must be thinking. In times where they might be scared to venture further and could be thinking about their past and/or families/friends behind them the camera is looking behind them. When there is panic and characters need to reach their destination, the camera looks in front of them!
The intricacies and graphic images of war are present, but not focused upon. At one point a character's hand goes through a corpse, but I was more worried about his hand getting infected than the fact there were dead bodies all around him. One character is stabbed, but instead of cutting to his body bleeding out, we are invited to the parting words between best friends.
I'm not mad at any of the events that happened and although some seem unlikely, I think all events add value to the script.
The musical score is brilliant. Ambient, suspenseful music while walking through no man's land and upbeat, frantic music when running from firing Germans.
The small deduction I made is because there seems to be little romantic, family connections. Yes the whole movie is looking for a brother and there are some images that show the soldier's family, but for the viewer to be rooting for the characters to get back to their families there needs to be a bigger build-up of that.