April 6th, 1917. As a regiment assembles to wage war deep in enemy territory, two soldiers are assigned to race against time and deliver a message that will stop 1,600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap.
I was hearing a lot about this movie in the latter half of last year, especially after its (surprise?) win at the Golden Globes earlier this year. I heard this movie was interesting in the way it was filmed so I decided to keep it in my radar. Got around to watching it in the theatres back in January shortly after I returned from my trip.
Wow, this movie was suspenseful. The story is pretty straight forward where the enemy is really time, time to deliver a message to a battalion to call off an attack or else they will all die (was so mad that its general cut himself off from any communique with command–how was this man still in charge? The only one left, I guess). All throughout the movie you really get that sense of time pressing, time as the enemy, racing; you’re in the same boat as the characters, frustrated when you’re held back or sideswept due to one inconvenience or another, another trap, being closed in my the enemy. The music helped, as did the cinematography, which was a well-deserved award; you’re practically in there with the characters, experiencing events from their perspective, whether they’re running or creeping in carefully or floating in water. You’re right in there, in the war, in No Man’s Land. The cinematography was fluid overall; you can kind of pick up where the cuts probably were, but I wasn’t really thinking about it, I was wholly engrossed by the story.
I did find it surprising that the story was a bit of a bait and switch:
The movie certainly conveyed the horrors of war–the massive loss of life, the ravaging of the countryside, the extreme scortched earth policy that followed. Did it convey anything new as a war film? It was a headline I had seen early on that reveberated in my mind as I came into the movie and on a whole it probably didn’t except that reminder of the horrors of war, of what humans can do to each other, of the machines of war and the harm it can cause. A lot of the movie is touch-and-go–touches on PTSD and its effects, the contrast between the two comrades/friends was interesting and enough to convey what their personalities were like. It was all about the dash to get to the batallion before the attack began.
Overall, 1917 was a really good movie. As my date said, it was maybe not the best date movie per se as it was intense (I was low-key clutching my pearls at times, it was nerve-wrecking, lol) but it was very well done and overall I was totally engrossed by it from start to finish. I highly recommend checking it out.