Subject: 1917 (spoilers)
Posted on: 2020-01-27 13:01:07 UTC

1917 is the best gorram war film I have ever seen.

I’ve seen a lot of war films.

I can safely say it’s better than Saving Private Ryan, Dunkirk, Black Hawk Down, Full Metal Jacket, or even Apocalypse Now.

So, if you haven’t seen it, and ignored the spoilers tag, here’s a quick run down on the film. It’s 1917, and the world is embroiled in WWI. In France, two soldiers are sent on a dangerous mission across No Man’s Land to deliver a urgent message to another Allied unit that is about to fall into a deadly trap.

Right off the bat, the movie draws you in as the protagonists walk from the relatively untouched grasslands of the rear lines, and into the ever more cramped and grimy world of the trenches. The whole movie is cleverly shot as if it is a single take. There’s never any noticable cuts, and there is only ever one camera filming the pair. The camera appears to just be a floating portal in the air, following these soldiers on their mission.

The uniforms, equipment, and other period stuff are entirely accurate from my ammature historian’s perspective. To make the film, they recreated a entire trench system, with parts of it scattered across the British countryside. IIRC, a part of it was built two miles from Stonehenge on the Salisbury plains.

In terms of how it plays out, there’s moments of relative calm- which can even be quite beautiful (for example, the scene of a soldier singing to a massive group of his comrades right before they go into battle is a almost otherwordly scene, both strange and entrancing). There’s a equal amount of action setpieces, from a collapsing German bunker near the start to a battle with a German sniper near the middle.

Overall, 1917 is a extremely thematic film, representing not the blood-soaked, testosterone-driven action of more tasteless war films; but the melancholy and pointlessness of war; where a small number of men can sacrifice so much, but achieve so little in the end. I highly reccomend this film for anyone who hasn’t seen it.

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