World War I Thriller Offers a Realistic and Brilliant Look at a Race Against Time

Noah, Lunsford

Two soldiers. One mission. No easy way out. In 1917, a new war film/thriller directed by Sam Mendes, World War I is nearing its end and two soldiers, Blake and Schofield, are just trying to power through till the war ends. But before that can happen, the two are given a mission that seems impossible; they must run across hundreds of miles to deliver a message to a nearby battalion that calls off an ill-fated attack. If they fail, 1,600 men will lose their lives, Blake’s older brother among them. Blake and Schofield  traverse through forests, across enemy lines and over trenches to prevent a massacre of their comrades. The film stars George Mackay as Schofield and Dean-Charles Chapman as Blake, with special appearances by Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong and Colin Firth. The screenplay of this film, based on stories Sam Mendes’ grandfather told him, is stellar, featuring superb acting (Mackay is by far the best) by the whole cast, but the real treasure of the film is the cinematography, which was run by Roger Deakins. The film is shot with techniques that make it look like one single take, which is quite impressive for the eyes and contributes to the plot. It’s like the camera never stops rolling! This manages to make the film more realistic and the viewer feel like they’re another soldier on the mission. Jonah Martins, a student here at Green Mountain High School, says that he likes 1917 because “it’s a very good war movie and the most realistic I have seen since Saving Private Ryan.” Mr. Martins is right; 1917 is a realistic and brilliant look at war and essential viewing for any and all film fans.