Friday, January 17, 2020

1917 review ****

Produced by:     Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Jayne-Ann Tenggren, Callum McDougall, Brian Oliver
Director:              Sam Mendes
Cast:                     George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Richard                                     Madden, Claire Duburcq, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch             


1917 is the real time portrayal of the World War I incident related to British-German conflict. The movie succeeds in creating an era of 1917 as we get illusion of standing in the battleground right from the beginning. The one shot of two soldiers, walking with urgency in a dugout, grabs eyeballs. Cinematography is the major attraction  because the whole movie gives an illusion of being a one continuous shot. Films like 1917 happen when the crew and the cast are in perfect sync. Apart from the splendid camera work, the movie boasts of fine direction, apt performances and expressive musical score.  For some the movie may be overblown, for some it may be dreadful depiction of the incident, but, if perceived without any bias, it is a masterpiece that will be remembered as an all-time classic. Being nominated in ten categories for the 92nd Oscars tells a lot about 1917.
Talking of the plot, it is all about two British soldiers Will Schofield (George Mackay) and Tom Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) who are on a mission to hand-deliver a letter to another British battalion comprising of 1600 men. The letter has an order of cancelling the proposed attack on the Germans because the Germans have laid a trap, and if the attack is not called-off, all the 1600 men are supposed to get killed by German troops. Among the 1600 men, there is Joseph Blake, elder brother of Tom Blake. So, the urgency for Tom has got an emotional connect too. Will and Tom cross every obstacle to reach the battalion but Tom is fatally attacked on the way. And it prompts Will Schofield to complete the mission on his own. The race against time keeps the pace at its peak and the action and emotion gels well to keep audience glued to the screen. Unlike science-fiction and fantasy genres, this epic war drama looks real in terms of visuals and gives a feel of a real war which turns out to be the main strength of the film. There are many  rising-momentum moments in the movie but the dugout scene near the climax is mind blowing.
With an undercurrent of patriotism, the harsh life of soldiers, during wartime, is shown in the best possible manner. In a way, the movie  proves that there are no choices for soldiers in war, except Do or Die. Summing-up, 1917 is worth watching. Released in India by Reliance Entertainment on 17th January, hopes are high that it will garner love from audience!

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