1917 narrates the story of 2 valorous British soldiers - Lance Cpl. Schofield and Lance Cpl. Blake who are assigned with a task by General Erinmore. The journey would be etched into history books and register their names on books of brave. The Germans have pulled back from a sector of the Western Front in northern France and the British General has learned that the 2nd Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment is about to walk right into a trap set up by German Troops. The lives of 1600 men are at stake and the world has already lost enough, now it's time for these 2 young soldiers to save the regiment from walking into a deathtrap and save them!
It's the dark times and the world is crippled in horror by the onset of World War 1. The film significantly visualizes the pain and human lives which were acknowledged as mere entities that could be easily trampled for the selfish needs of the leaders from the 20th century. Director Sam Mendes has majorly focused on adding breathtaking and accurate details from the front line. He intends to seek an instant reaction from you that easily connects you with the characters. It's just half an hour into the film and your senses are easily triggered with the sounds of pain and anguish followed by the smell of decaying bodies lying around at the frontline.
The Germans have already commenced their plan and they intend on trapping the Devons battalion into the frontline, the journey of young Lance Corporals Schofield and Blake define the intense fight for survival and glory. The characters are still young and with no prior experience of surviving alone on the frontlines, you are to experience the fear and hesitation that lies within them. No sooner they embark on their journey Schofield is injured due to the wire and the blood gushes out through his palm, suddenly you are inflicted with pain that sets off an instant reaction. Make sure you are strong-willed as director Sam Mendes has some nasty surprises planned for you that might take your breath away.
The background score plays a vital role in making an impact as there’s hardly any scope for the plot to grab a hold of your conscience as we set foot towards the interval. As the characters advance towards the frontlines and get a horrifying look at the other side of the German front, Thomas Newman’s music intensifies with every step they take and you are suddenly knocked with his soulful track.
1917 features comradery, valour and a bit of emotional connect that defines the soldiers as humans. Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns have curated the film meticulously as they never seem to go over the board with dialogues and story. This written excellence has a major loophole as the film plays towards the end and it just smoulders your expectations.
Frankly, 1917 is quite intriguing on a few aspects and they are the turning points which bring out the best of this film. But, somehow it boils down to the ending and the whole film loses an impact if you can’t digest the end easily. Without a doubt, the film deserves several nominations but being nominated for Best Film, might not be a worthy decision, personally.
There are several factors that make this film a top contender to compete at BAFTA awards and the film might sweep away an award for Cinematography as Roger Deakins has managed to follow the character through the entire film. And guess what? It appears that the director never called a ‘Cut’. The film can be compared to 2014 drama Birdman which keeps the story rolling on camera without a cut. But, 1917 is being played in the background of high magnitude and its effective. Whereas Birdman is shot around closed spaces.
The director has done tremendously well throughout the film and maintaining that note is quite difficult. He failed to feature a simple direction of the bullets being shot Schofield and a minor detail turned against him. The director has totally smeared the film at the conclusion and personally, it couldn't satisfy my hunger for a perfectly clean and unadulterated ending.
Sam has tried to feature his directorial supremacy that could have overpowered other directors however, he somehow failed to do so as the minor setbacks in this 1917 turn lethal for his final product.
The film is amazing and it definitely impacts you emotionally but personally Sam’s directorial needed more concentration of the parts of exposition which could balance the climax. The overdramatized view of Lance Cpl. Schofield running 300 yards over the trench makes it difficult to gulp. The facade of nominations that the film carries does not actually stand up to the expectations and personally, it could be far more impacting if they were to actually make a not of details rather than just focusing on a visual scale.