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So with my third years (I am a teacher) I am doing some classes on WW I and I was in need of a replacement for All Quiet on the Western Front from 1979. I wanted to check out 1917 to see if it would be worthy replacement and man... 1917 is INSANE! So well made, such amazing cinematography! If you have not seen it yet, go!
So the story takes place in... 1917, what a surprise. We are nearing the end of the fighting in WW I. This is the year in which the first tanks and planes make their introduction, where soldiers have already suffered a lot at big battles like that of the Somme. It is a time in which some are still the soldiers that were already there in 1914, but also the time of replacements, new recruits that have to find their way on the battlefield. We meet two soldiers, Blake, a new recruit who is not yet completely versed in the ways of trench warfare and Schofield, his seasoned friend.
The two men are charged with a mission to stop an attack of their own forces (and Blake's brother is amongst them) on the Germans, who have set a trap for them. What follows is a harrowing tour past the trenches, over the enemy line, deeply into their territory.
So that part is true, also the movie beautifully portrays the confusion the allied soldiers are left with: have they gone? Is it a trap? What should we do?
The story of the message that has to be delivered over enemy lines it not necessarily true and no evidence has been found to support it. But don't let this deter you from the movie, because it really gives an amazing image of trench warfare and what it must have been like to be a soldier during that time. And most of that is because of the amazing cinematography!
When you watch this movie, you feel like you are walking with the two soldiers. Instead of the big overview shots (like Dunkirk, shot with drones) this movie gives a very intimate feel. You feel like the third person on their two men mission. Roger Deakins is the man responsible for this, and he wanted to make the movie appear as if it had been taken in one single shot. So instead of changing the scene you keep going in the story. This does mean an insane amount of planning, as the ones that film have to know exactly where the actors will be going in order to get the shot right. Light was also an issue, as with some scenes they had only the light of flares and had to time those perfectly within the shot.
Anyway, I could not recommend this movie more! Go see it if you haven't already!