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1917. Anyone see it? Any thoughts or opinions you'd like to discuss about it?


ZeldaFreak
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Events Team · Posted

Didn't see a thread for this, so I figured I'd make one myself.

For those that don't know, 1917 is a WW1-based war movie that came out about a month ago. It takes place, as you might be able to guess, in 1917. The plot is very simple: It's the middle of The Great War. Two British soldiers are tasked with delivering a message behind enemy lines to call off an attack on the retreating Germans, as the Germans are intentionally retreating to try and catch the attacking British off-guard. They are walking in to a trap. The problem with this, is that the attack is supposed to take place tomorrow morning, and they must have the message delivered before then. If they fail to deliver it in time, 1600 men will die, including the brother of one of the two soldiers. It's very simple, but not in a bad way in my opinion. As one reviewer put it, it's simple like how the plot to The Lord of the Rings is simple. It's basic, but very effective.

One of the more interesting aspects of the movie is that, similar to a movie like Birdman, it's shot and edited together to look like it's all one long, continuous take. Some could view that as a bit of a gimmick, but I and a lot of other people agree that it actually added a lot to the movie. It's somewhat cliche to say this, especially about a war movie, but it being made to look like one shot really made you feel like you were there, trekking along with the two soldiers. Even beyond that very smart move to make it feel like one shot, the cinematography is excellent. This movie contains some of my personal favorite shots and set-pieces I've ever seen in a movie. There is one scene in particular in which the way it's lit just looks... otherworldly. Anyone who's seen it will know the scene I'm talking about.

It goes without saying that the acting is amazing, and the writing was very clever as well. I didn't recognize either of the two actors who played the main two soldiers, but they both did amazing jobs, as did all the extras and various side characters. The score is another thing I'd like to point out as well. It reminded me of a Hans Zimmer type of score, like a swelling orchestral sound, and Hans Zimmer is one of my favorite composers, so that was absolutely a great thing. The score added tension to already tense scenes, but it was also suitably calm when it needed to be. Definitely added a lot to the experience. I'll also say that I enjoyed how the movie did nothing to glorify war, which is something I've noticed war movies are getting better and better at not doing. It definitely showed many of the horrors of war in general, and this war in particular. And, despite the fact it's a war movie, I'd definitely hesitate to call it an "action" movie. I feel like it'd probably fall more under the category of a drama, or something similar, since there actually isn't a ton of action in it. It's more dialogue and story-driven. But when there is action, it's incredibly tense.

Overall, I would personally say this was easily my favorite movie of 2019 (Technically, since it had a limited release in December) and it's honestly up there as one of my favorite movies from the last decade. Definitely up there with films like Saving Private Ryan and Dunkirk, and I have no doubt it'll be remembered in a similar light to those movies. If you haven't seen this movie, it's still gonna be in theaters for a few more days, and I'd highly recommend catching it if you can. Even if you're not typically a fan of war movies, I think there may still be a lot of things you'd like about this one in particular.

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Edited by ZeldaFreak
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I didn't much care for it.   It is one of those movies where a lot of the parts were much better than the whole.

The biggest problem I had with it was that the premise was so very very flawed.   There would have been no need to send anyone out like that since it was obvious the front was contiguous from their start point to their destination.  You simply send your messenger (hopefully on a motorcycle) behind lines to deliver the message.  Or you have a pilot drop it from an airplane.   And how did the Germans cut all of the communication wires - those generally didn't run along the lines (or across enemy held positions) - they would run directly back from the front iine HQs  and then forward from the rear to other front line HQs.  If the Germans had managed to sever a line with artillery fire such damage would have been easily repaired.

And given the scale of the battles in WWII it is doubtful that either side would have gone to such a large scale subterfuge just to eliminate 1600  men.   

(I still want to know who was milking that cow in the middle of nowhere.)

For those of you who haven't seen it, I can't reccomend "All Quiet on the Western Front" (1930) too much - it is a real classic from the early sound film era.

 

 

Edited by Wandering Tellurian
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It was incredibly boring. I watched it with my girlfriend and when she got up to get some supper, she didn't even bother to ask me to stop it. I was glad when it ended but I did notice half way through that it was all one single camera shot and thought that was interesting.

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I wouldnt describe it as boring at all. It was a great movie.

 

You must have been anticipating something different. This was a character journey story movie. Not really a war movie.

 

The soundtrack of this movie is beautiful. Love Thomas Newman. That end credit theme. Love it.

Edited by Quest4Nes
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Events Team · Posted
13 minutes ago, Quest4Nes said:

I wouldnt describe it as boring at all. It was a great movie.

 

You must have been anticipating something different. This was a character journey story movie. Not really a war movie.

 

The soundtrack of this movie is beautiful. Love Thomas Newman. That end credit theme. Love it.

Yeah, the soundtrack is great. Sixteen Hundred Men was one of my favorite tracks from the movie, really reminded me of No Time For Caution from Interstellar. And of course the scene with Wayfaring Stranger... chills.

Edited by ZeldaFreak
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Events Team · Posted
2 minutes ago, Reed Rothchild said:

Haven't seen it, but I will eventually.  Mendes does good work.

Definitely. Just don't expect a stereotypical war action-fest, it's definitely a character driven movie. As long as you go in to it with that in mind, it's a really good watch.

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Member · Posted

@ZeldaFreak

great review Freak.  I enjoyed it, pretty simple war story about two soldiers going behind enemy lines and all the crazy action that they run across.

The gimmick is that it is pretty much one continuous shot (almost) as if a cameraman was just following behind them.  Huge technical and production feat.  Pretty much all the set pieces you would want from a WW1 movie and a nice human story under it.

@Wandering Tellurian

At the end, it says it is based on the war stories of the director’s grandfather.  So I guess it was a fictionalized version events.

unless you are one of those “why didn’t they ride the eagles to mt doom and drop the ring in from a mile up” boys XD

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I don't mind fictionalized versions of real events - you have to generate dialogue from somewhere  and a certain degree of literary license is needed to advance the storyline.  But the events have to make sense if you are setting your movie in the reality of that war.  Maybe his grandfather did go on such a mission - but I find it highly doubtful given the reality of trench warfare.  (Would have worked really well (and more believable) in say the Civil War.) If it did occur, tell the real story - if not create something believable.

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 “why didn’t they ride the eagles to mt doom and drop the ring in from a mile up”  XD

"What if Spartacus had a piper cub?"

 

 
 
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1 hour ago, fox said:

@ZeldaFreak

great review Freak.  I enjoyed it, pretty simple war story about two soldiers going behind enemy lines and all the crazy action that they run across.

The gimmick is that it is pretty much one continuous shot (almost) as if a cameraman was just following behind them.  Huge technical and production feat.  Pretty much all the set pieces you would want from a WW1 movie and a nice human story under it.

@Wandering Tellurian

At the end, it says it is based on the war stories of the director’s grandfather.  So I guess it was a fictionalized version events.

unless you are one of those “why didn’t they ride the eagles to mt doom and drop the ring in from a mile up” boys XD

It use to be understood that Grandpa’s war stories were tall tales. Not to be taken literally. 

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