by Matt Slick
It is not very often that I am impressed by a movie. But, 1917 was impressive, very impressive. I thought it was spectacular.
It begins on April 6, 1917, and recounts two young Brittish soldiers on the Western Front of World War I who are on a mission to stop an assault against the Germans who have set a trap which will end up with the death of 1600 of their fellow soldiers. It is a gritty reality-ride through the muck and filth of death, the chaos of battle, and the extreme necessity of duty all conveyed with cinematographic mastery. The viewer is carried into the horrors of war with a menacingly, detailed, single-shot presentation.
On more than one occasion, I dropped my jaw open and whispered to myself, "spectacular." I've never seen filming done this way. It was beautifully artistic. The angles, the movement of the camera, the involvement of the viewer in the action was nothing short of magnificent.
There are many memorable scenes, but the one that sticks in my mind the most occurs at night, where one of the soldiers is running through a war-torn set of buildings that are sporadically lit up by distant flares. The constant movement of those falling flares and the shadows they cast upon the ruins, produced imagery that still echoes in my memory. In my opinion, the choreography and cinematography of that scene were nothing short of genius.
This movie deserves to win many awards and I plan to see it again.
There are instances of foul language as well as using the Lord's name in vain. It is gritty, detailed, and shows bodies in varying forms of decay. It is not a movie for children. But it is a movie for those who want to experience a new style of filming set against one of the darkest periods of humanity. You won't walk away disappointed. But you will walk away affected.