- Gareth Crook
Much has been made about the technical achievements with this film, the editing creating the illusion of the single take and the long, carefully choreographed shots needed to achieve that. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in this, I stopped counting at five shots though, because of course that’s not it’s core strength. Granted it does anchor you in the action, you’re right there, something not to be sniffed at, but it’s the story and those involved that pulls you in. 1917 is as visceral and terrifying as you’d expect. It’ll have your jaw quivering on the floor. The story of two young soldiers attempting to get a message, in a race against time, to save hundreds of their like from near certain death, as the Germans plan a surprise attack. Cramped trenches, open countryside, shell beaten towns, people drifting in and out of the narrative. It could’ve been complicated, but it’s the simplicity that shines here and allows the cinematic hopelessness to weigh on you. If there’s one thing that films like this share, it’s the common portrayal of the pointlessness of war. Lives lost, friends lost, clinging on to hope and humanity. To be perfectly honest, it’s a struggle to put this into words, but it’s brutal, amazing, with a brilliant cast all at the top of their game. Stunning.