"1917" is a technical achievement. Its one-shot component alone will bait it for a lot of honors and praises (and it will). But Sam Mendes doesn't settle on that aspect alone as he spins and directs a film not only a marvel for the eyes but also the heart.
Two young British soldiers Lance Corporal Schofield (Gorge MacKay) and Lance Corporal Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) are given a seemingly impossible but vital task. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory to deliver a message that could potentially save 1,600 of their fellow soldiers lives — Blake’s own brother among them - before the group advances to a trap that the Germans have planned for months.
Where do we start with "1917". It is that rare film that seemingly ticks off all the boxes. Not only did it completely blew us away with its one-shot style but also with its excellent production values and overall narrative. As expected, the film will be most remembered with its continuous shot style. We have to be honest, it was both limiting and distracting at times. But the overall effect was astounding in its scope and scale. Rarely did the film have a breather when it came to cuts. Barring a handful of times that the screen faded to a completely black screen or a huge object swiping over our field of view, you'd be hard-pressed to notice how they accomplished the effect. The one-shot component also helps to put audiences at the front of the lines. The film had that foreboding sense of dread that no one, nowhere, and no time is ever safe - probably the very same thing soldiers would have in real-life. Beyond that, the camera work and the complicated motions it had to contend with was simply the best we have seen and had us constantly in awe countless times. But beyond its visuals, the writing was strong and the acting even stronger. George MacKay as the steely-eyed Corporal Schofield delivers an authentic, stoic, but deep performance. We could feel every pain, desperation, and drive his character had to go through to deliver a message that could spell the safety of thousands of his fellow soldiers. Unfortunately, if we could pinpoint one bad thing about "1917", it would be its character development. Not that the film had none but we felt it needed more but also understand that we are being heavily-limited by the continuity of shots. There's really little time to dilly-dally with the camera never ceasing to follow our protagonists. Even with this, we still get some basic background on our leads and by the end, still got a very emotional and satisfying climax. "1917" is easily one of the most memorable films we have ever experienced and iconic in its own right. It's a film able to capture the horrors of war in a very visceral and intimate manner.

Rating: 5 reels

Why you should watch it:
- a technical a marvel and achievement given its epic scope and scale
- one of the best and unique war films we have seen in years

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the one-shot component was a distraction at times
- the characters are less developed than we hoped

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