1917

directed by Sam Mendes
Category: "War"
Year of Release:2029
Date Added:01/12/2020
Date Watched:01/11/2020
Description:It's April 6, 1917 in France. The Germans have apparently retreated from their trench lines and the British plan a huge attack to finish off the war. Except that it's a trap. Two British corporals, Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Schofield (George MacKay) are ordered to travel several miles through what used to be no-man's land and give a message to Colonel MacKenzie (Benedict Comberbatch) to call off the attack before his troops get slaughtered. The two corporals make their way through the detritus of war—dead bodies, rats, booby traps, barbed wire and trenches. Schofield has seen more war than he wants, and he's not happy about the mission. Chapman is driven, largely because his older brother is part of the attacking force that's about to be wiped out. The two soldiers see a German plane get shot down. They help the wounded pilot get out of his burning plane, but then the German pulls a knife and stabs Chapman, killing him. Schofield kills the German and now has to complete the mission himself. He happens upon a battalion of British troops and travels with them for a time. He is almost shot by a German sniper but manages to kill the enemy instead. He's hit and knocked out for a time, but wakes and continues. In a basement in a burned out town, he meets a young French woman caring for a child that isn't hers. He gives them his provisions and continues. Other German snipers chase him through town and he has to jump into a river to escape. He finally finds the soldiers he's carrying the message to and manages to get the attack stopped shortly after it begins. Many soldiers are wounded and killed, but it's not the massacre it would have been if he hadn't completed his mission. The movie ends with Schofield sitting against a tree behind the lines, in an exhausted stupor.
My Rating:7

Reviews for 1917

Review - 1917

I struggled to make sense of the landscape. The two corporals kept running into British troops along their mission, so I'm not clear on why they had to travel so far on foot when there were entire battalions much further forward who were riding around in trucks and when so much of the territory they crossed was free of combatants. But the dead bodies, the destruction, the desperation, the trench life all seemed genuine. The movie was shot in real time, with the illusion of one take, although there were moments of darkness when splices could obviously take place. There was also obviously a gap in the real-time story line when the screen went black for several seconds during the time Schofield was unconscious after his encounter with the sniper. We were sitting closer to the screen than we generally care to do, and some of the scenes made us rather dizzy.
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