New epic movie throws viewers into WWI violence

  At the beginning of 2020, director Sam Mendes builds an intriguing story through the use of his grandfather’s World War I tales and experiences. “1917” throws viewers into the horrors of WWI and takes them on a perilous journey with two relatively new actors, George MacKay (Lance Corporal Schofield) and Dean-Chalres Chapman (Lance Corporal Blake).

   The movie captures the audience with an interesting line spoken by a commanding British officer: “Blake! Pick a man, grab your kit.” Blake decides to take fellow British soldier, Schofield, along with him on their errand. Little do they know, they are assigned a very dangerous task. However, the goal is simple: deliver an urgent message to a different British division through enemy territory by dusk. This new division is walking into a deadly trap and their commander is putting 1600 men on the line, Blake’s older brother included. The whole movie is about the two soldiers’ journey across no man’s land, enemy trenches, and destroyed cities in an epic war adventure, where time is the enemy.

   What makes this movie so interesting is the execution the directors and photographers had in creating it. Mendes wanted to make viewers feel like they were a part of the characters journey, so he decided to shoot the whole film in one continuous shot. Every time they cut the film, they would have to start back up at the same place as before, creating the seamless one shot effect.

   The director also created the whole movie set outside and dug all of the trenches Blake and Schofield run through with the help of architects and engineers. This enhances the real action of the movie and the work that engineers did, paint the scenes into the minds of viewers. All the scenes look like they came straight out of WWI and the attention to detail was exceptional. Building upon what the scenes look like and the real life attributes, let them set the stage for a great movie. Without this foundation, the actors and filmmakers talent would have been wasted.

   The weather played a major role in filming the movie, too. To get the one shot affect, everything had to match up, so if the camera crew had filmed a previous scene in the clouds, they would have to wait for the clouds before filming another. In one scene, the entire set is lit by flares and to make sure that the shadows and lighting for everything would be correct, architects created a model of the scene and tested different light patterns. By implementing all of these techniques, Mendes has created a truly exceptional movie that plays on the viewers emotions and places them directly in all the action.

   I really enjoyed watching this movie and I really liked how the movie was shown. Throughout the whole movie, I felt like I was actually running along the trenches and experiencing the war with the characters. The movies intense action scenes and bloody violence gave me a real respect for the people who fought in wars and also those who continue to serve. I believe that these sad war movies are what keeps us human as they allow people to get a grasp on reality. Often times we can get wrapped up in all of the superhero and science fiction media that is out there. When we do this we lose hold of what actually happened in real life and the real terrors of war can get lost. I felt a reality check after I watched this movie and held a new respect for other movies like “1917.” The story was also exceptional and I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone looking for a great movie.