After watching this film about the First World War, you will historically know exactly as much as you knew before. That is, of course, assuming that you knew about how miserable young people were, the soldiers had to rise and fall a few meters on the ground and put their lives in danger to meet unrealistic goals. Because that is exactly what this story is about, in principle, too. I realize it doesn’t go all the way with the fact that I mentioned this isn’t a war film and I’m still holding on to that statement. Mainly because I do not tolerate war, war movies, and war talks. But this film in me made absolutely no dislike of this genre. It achieved exactly the opposite effect.
Although I have previously mentioned that the war has little to do with this film, it is important to understand the role of war in cinema, why exactly this film has come to the forefront this year and why it is important to watch it. Therefore, let us start with a little historical derogation.
The cinema industry has always enjoyed extolling the subject of war from all possible aspects. In 1928, when the echo of the war had not subsided, the first “Oscar” award was handed to the romantic “Wings” of the First World War, which was soon joined by the “All Quiet on the Western Front” called “All Quiet on.” Fast-forward the tape for nearly 100 years, and the war still doesn’t stop surprising us with facts that history books have shamelessly missed. And even if history is exhausting itself, let us imagine how it would be if you were a little boy in Nazi Germany and Hitler was your fantasy friend.
While it may seem that films of this genre are easily adaptable and raining on our laps as from a cornucopia horn, the last time “Oscar” nomination as the best film based on the events of the First World War was received by Stephen Spielberg’s “War Horse” in 2011. Now that we have climbed into a new decade, we can say, in the distant 2011. Overshadowed by the Second World War, the “Great War” in the cinema industry is not so big either. As the main reason here is perhaps the fact that the causes and outcomes of this war are difficult to portray from one particular point of view of a “hero” who would fight against an obvious root of evil. If the Second World War is clearly and quite unassailably identified by both the victim and the hero and the villain, the First World War is relatively gray, its motives are not always quite clear, and the greatest man of war is no one other than the war itself. Such a transparent protagonist must be searched for, rotting through the remaining ancestral archives, which is also exactly what director Sam Mendes did.
The film may not be directly based on true events, yet it is based on true history from Mendes’s grandfather’s stories about his experiences and seen during the war. Although we saw both Benedict Cumberbatch and Colin Fairness and Andrew Scott in the trailer, their screen time is just so minimal as to highlight the importance of young, inexperienced soldiers – Scotland (George McGee) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) – on whose shoulders the shoulders are unenthused. responsibility to go over enemy territory to pass a message that would save a battalion of 1600 soldiers.
A slight exception to the subject: Andrew Scott, even in his small-screen experience, manages to give an amicable but likely random reference to Fleabag, also giving his “blessing” to this mission, before pointing out the approximate direction in which to go to increase the chances of Scotland and Blake surviving.
The atmosphere of the story often interrupts between Saving Private Ryan and Dunkirk, the two protagonists traveling through a grim war zone, which will save lives, with an endless feeling that, with every minute spent on the mission, this mission remains more and more impossible and no nerve for heroes or spectators.
The very root of the film’s genius is a one-shot technique that constantly pulls you from the beginning to the end with the heartbreaking of the protagonists. It gives you a constant feeling that the movie drives you forward and pulls you with power, depending on whether the camera is in front of the images or breathing on the back of them. And, just like the protagonists, you don’t have time to think about anything else that happens along the edges of the trench, just about a mission whose greatest enemy (not counting the Germans) has time.
The film will keep you constantly at the reins, preventing you from seeing anything that happens further than what you see, and the tension and desire to see more than what you’ve been given is exactly what makes it a unique masterpiece. We can only imagine how incredibly difficult it is to achieve something so visually impressive that it ultimately looks so incremental, easy, and unsophisticated. This is thanks to the now double Oscar winner Roger Adkins, who has also put his great cinematographer soul in masterpieces such as “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Blade Runner 2049” and “Skyfall.”
In addition to its excellent cinematography and the touching performance of actors, it would be a sin not to mention Thomas Newman’s music, involving every movement of the camera, symphonic with each landscape and unobtrusively measuring the intensity and pace of the scenes.
Even though the “Oscar” award for both this work and the director himself and the author of the idea was disrespectful, and usually in the “post-election” period, all the attention is paid to its winner, I would add that the film should not be seen after “Oscar” (or lack of it). “1917” does not seem to have any impression of a typical war film from which it alone. she wants to avoid it. I say “almost” while respecting the fact that its events are taking place in the war field. Yet, apart from uniformed soldiers in dark, muddy, rat-obsessed trenches and a gray war filter that automatically covers any subject of war, “1917” is a visually beautiful, touching tension drama whose main emphasis is on friendship, courage and the immeasurably dangerous faith of our veterans.