1917 (2019) - UK / USA
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
Technically flawless and groundbreaking filmmaking and precise execution from director Sam Mendes and long time veteran cinematographer Roger Deakins creates the illusion of a one shot gimmick in the astounding “1917”. Making this film coherent as the camera follows the journey of the two ordinary solders. This is a beautifully depicted film that never shy away from the true horrors of war. We get direct exposure to the blood, the bare space of death and rotten bodies piling up like garbage on a river bags and huge rats literally eating their feast. This is the remarkable vision that Medes manages to portray and in turn striking a powerful image through its protagonist.
George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman are perfectly casted as the two main focus leads. Relatively unknown actors, they allow the audience to focus on the damming situation on hand. Like a video game, we are the heroes just like MacKay. They are faced with a task that is almost impossible and every failure can lead to a huge loss of lives. That’s the power of cinema at its greatest. We get cameos from bigger stars like Benedict Cumberbatch, but they are simply there as the sideshow.
All in all, “1917” is technically perfect in its execution and Mendes delivers wonderfully in its one shot gimmick. However, the film falls short of greatest as we are given a limited vision of the situation due to its very gimmick of following one shot. Still, this is a film for true cinema fans to embrace and emote as we experience the horrors of war in the most direct and modern way.
I rated it 8/10