In the heat of occupied France during World War 1 Private Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) is sent on a seemingly impossible mission, cross no-mans land into German territory to give an urgent message to Colonel Mackenzie (Cumberbatch), who is about to attack the enemy troops thinking they’re in retreat.

1600 British soldiers lives are at stake, for added pressure Private Blake’s brother is among the soldiers who could be ambushed. Director Sam Mendes has loosely based this story on conversations he had with his grandfather, who fought in Flanders in World War 1.

Private Blake is told to choose another soldier to go with him on the mission, so he takes his war weary mate Private Schofield (George Mackay), thus starts the treacherous journey.

George MacKay as Schofield in “1917.

Legendary Cinematographer Roger Deakins gives us sweeping shots through barren landscapes and ramps up the claustrophobic atmosphere in twisting trenches and booby-trapped mineshafts.

It’s soon apparent Mendes and Deakins are shooting this film in one long camera shot, a scene never seems to end even though there are clear edits, technically its an ambitious project, it mostly works but at times can be a little off-putting.

Look for Mark Strong as Captain Smith, he’s such a brilliant actor who brings added steel to the movie, it’s also a Game of Thrones reunion, with the young King Tomlin (Chapman) and the wolf Rob Stark (Richard Madden) as the brother he’s ultimately trying to rescue from certain death.

Mark Strong as Captain Smith in 1917

This is a good, not great war movie, I felt too caught up in the cinematography to be fully immersed in the story, the acting was top notch but the dialogue at times felt stiff and clunky.  It will win more awards as it’s already done for best director and movie at the Golden Globes but 1917 for me didn’t quite get there.

Dunkirk was much better.

hallymustang rating : 🎥🎥🎥 3/5

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