1917 Review

1917 is incredible for so many reasons. It has a captivating story, It is superbly acted, and it is filmed to look like one (or two) continuous shot(s). That last aspect alone distinguishes it as a marvel of moviemaking. However, there is so much more the movie does well that deserves praise. It’s a special breed of movie that captures what exactly can be achieved with the medium. It’s simply well, incredible.

Allow me to gush over the single shot look. To start, this is no easy feat. The amount of coordination between grips, camera operators, technicians, set designers, and editors is something to marvel at. Sets had to be built and blocked to time specific actions the actors take. They also had to accommodate the camera, whether that be on a steady cam, a wire rig, a truck, or a crane. Often, the camera would have to switch between these seamlessly. All of it is meticulously crafted, and plenty of movie magic was needed to make it look so smooth. And smooth it is. The cuts, which believe it or not are there, are almost unrecognizable. It all meshes together in a way that entrenches us with these soldiers (no pun intended).

The story is griping. While the movie caps in at around two hours, it moves at a clip. The soldiers’ journey is fraught with peril, and when it needs to be suspenseful, it is. The fact that there are no cuts allows the story to unfold in real time. We don’t jump around, we move with the men and are restricted to only what they experience. Our narrative knowledge is limited to theirs, making for a hectic viewing experience. At one point, my girlfriend literally said “this is like, real life” which to me is the best compliment you can give this movie.

While it can be a bombastic movie, there are also times that are emotionally resonant. There are moments of tragedy, loss, reflection, hope, the whole spectrum. The movie does the action well, but it really shines in the moments guns aren’t going off. The beauty and the tragedy of WWI is fully on display, and it makes for a move that is deeper than your average war movie.

1917 is fantastic. It delivers an experience that truly places the viewer in its years namesake. It is a one of a kind movie and is without a doubt one of the best war moviesI’ve ever seen. I give it 8 artillery shells out of 10.


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