1917 - A Suicide Mission
Updated: Jul 26, 2020
This race against time concept movie is a cinematographic masterpiece and its visceral magic needs to be experienced in IMAX for sure. Here you will see the intensity of the war on screen through some terrific technical brilliance and not through a compelling story. So dont compare this to Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan (someone did made a comment in the theater). Having said that, we can draw some parallels with Dunkirk. Time is the common theme, but 1917 creates much deeper cinematic impact than the former. The latter had three timelines and here its a 24 hr timeline, both never shows the enemy at all but still created a war impact beautifully.
Now coming to the plot itself, The film is actually inspired by stories told by Directors Grandfather. The film follows the odyssey of two soldiers to deliver a message to warn another battalion about a German ambush. With all communication lines dead the path they chose to deliver the message is to go through no mans land and cross the enemy borders. Now the beauty of this film is that you wont think about the plot as there is no time for us to think anything else apart from being part their journey. The technical aspect are so dominating that it doesn't leave room for us thinking anything else. As a story, it did fail to teach anything new or even feel sorry about the characters. So dont go for a thematic experience and its emotionally very limited. And you wont feel the pain of loss here. And for some people that may be a deal breaker but not for me this time.
Roger Deakins work is the highlight of the film, he overshadowed every other thing in the film. The intent to replicate the horrors of wars is done majorly through his remarkable camera work and it helped maintain the tension in a big way. You walk along the trenches with the characters. The concept of Single Shot feel just amplifies the overall experience.
It’s been a long time since a film immersed me so much, the last one i remember was Gravity ( (Emmanuel Lubezki yet another terrific cinematographer). This to me is simply the most impressive aesthetic cinema experience of 2020. From set design to some terrific musical score and above all the tracking shots makes this a compelling watch. From the first minute to last minute you will personally involved in the narrative style. I have to say even with story line which felt like a video game, 1917 manages to convey a gripping and and tensed narration. 1917 begins on a tree and ends on one which is a visual metaphor for a family.
And for the Oscars it should be clean sweep for Cinematography,Production Design,Sound Mixing ,Sound Editing and potentially for the Original scope. In terms of Best picture and Direction i have my own doubts. Nevertheless a solid contender.
Verdict - 4/5(Horrors of Combat)