This week I challenged myself to write about 1917 and JoJo Rabbit. These two movies were nominated for Oscars this year. Both of them have won the hearts of the masses and critics alike across the world.
So, here I am, writing about Sam Mendes’ 1917. According to Mendes, the film is based on true events narrated to him by his grandfather. I am not sure how far the portrayal of events is true in this movie. However, one thing that I am sure of is 1917 will appeal particularly to those who appreciate sensible and meaningful cinema. Sam Mendes’ movie is a 21st-century masterpiece without any doubt.
1917 tells the story of Lance Corporal Blake and Lance Corporal Schofield. The two young men are tasked to save the lives of 1,600 soldiers. The task becomes more of a personal quest for one of the Corporals as Blake comes to know that his elder brother is among those 1,600 men. With very little time left to inform Colonel Mackenzie (head of the Second Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment), Blake and Schofield must pass through the treacherous German territory without getting noticed.
As the duo enters deep into the enemy territory they realize that Germans have hideous plans for the Britishers. At one moment, a booby-trap almost gets Schofield killed but he survives with the help of Blake. Initially hesitant to go on this suicidal mission, Schofield’s character takes a huge responsibility of delivering the message on his own after Blake is killed by a German pilot.
Schofield cheats death, survives, and somehow manages to deliver the message to Colonel Mackenzie. But it’s a bit late as the first phase of the attack is already ordered. Mackenzie finally calls off the attack after a heated argument with Corporal Schofield. Many soldiers are already killed and injured during the first phase as Schofield starts searching for Blake’s brother. Thankfully, he meets Blake’s brother and tells him that his brother died with honor.
In the last scene, we see Schofield sitting under a tree and thinking about his late friend and family. The sun is shining, the landscape is filled with greenery and light. The film ends here. We don’t know what happens to the war. In reality, World War 1 ended in late 1918 after taking millions of innocent lives.
What’s Good About 1917 Movie
The manner in which the plot unfolds is truly irresistible. 1917 has a linear and uncomplicated screenplay with elements that are exceptionally natural and flawless. The movie has the power to induce extremely strong emotions in the audience with its realistic look and approach. Due to the subtle nature of the movie, you get absorbed into the story in no time. The film captures the innocence, resilience, and pain of the characters very effectively.
Talking about the technical aspects of the movie. Roger Deakins’s cinematography and Lee Smith’s editing are praiseworthy with many scenes captured beautifully through the camera lens. The color palette of the movie is remarkable and gives a realistic feel of the war-like situation. The last fight scene where Schofield is trying to reach Mackenzie by running parallel to the trench of marching British soldiers is the best scene of the movie. That’s the epitome of Sam Mendes’ mastery of movie-making.
Thomas Newman’s music too is good but certainly not up to the standards of Dunkirk. The movie has plenty of good dialogues.
You can read the best quotes from the 1917 movie here!
My Rating & Verdict of 1917
I am giving this movie 9 out of 10. One thing that I liked about 1917 is that Sam Mendes has directed the movie in such a fashion that it doesn’t make us hate any country or people. It perfectly portrays the travails of war in a very realistic manner by showing how an individual can become a hero amidst blood and guts of an ugly war. Sam Mendes’ movie is about sacrifice and nobility not glorifying the victory of one country over another.
The World of Movies Rating 09/10
Movie Title: 1917
Directed by: Sam Mendes
Written by: Sam Mendes, Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Main Cast: Dean-Charles Chapman as Lance Corporal Blake, George MacKay as Lance Corporal Schofield, Colin Firth as General Erinmore, Mark Strong as Captain Smith, Benedict Cumberbatch as Colonel Mackenzie
Year of Release: 2019
Genre: Drama, War
Country of Origin: India (Bollywood)
Languages: English (Mostly), German & French (Some dialoges only)
Running time: 119 minutes
Production Company: DreamWorks (as Dreamworks Pictures), Reliance Entertainment
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Image Source: Screenshots taken from the movie.
Reviewed by: Absar Ahmad