Inspired by Alfred Mendes, grandfather of director Sam Mendes, and based
on, depending on which account you read, either his own personal
experiences during World War 1 or tales he told about others daring
escapades, 1917 is one of the first must see movies of 2020.
Set up to look as if it’s been filmed in one long take, 1917 is a technical
and storytelling triumph.
George Mackay and Dean-Charles Chapman play Lance Corporals’ Schofield and
Blake, two infantry men given the task of making their way across no man’s
line in order to tell an advanced unit of British soldiers that their
walking into a trap. Making their task even more urgent, if that was
possible, is the fact that Blake’s brother is among the troops that are
about to advance into the waiting Germans.
Mendes movie is visually stunning and at times feels like a throwback to
the star packed movies of the 60’s and 70’s, “The Longest Day” springs to
mind, as various famous faces pop up in a number of minor roles, Colin
Firth and Benedict Cumberbatch to name but two.
1917 is a cinematic experience that demands to be seen on a cinema screen,
Mendes has managed to create a vision of hell as the two young men make
their way across a land - that’s littered with uncountable numbers of
putrefying bodies of their fallen comrades - where every step they take
risks serious injury or death.
1917 deserves every award that will all most certainly come its way.