The Immersive Journey of Solitary Resilience in 1917
Amid the trenches, mud, ruins, and despair typical of war movies, “1917” stands out as a cinematic masterpiece that goes beyond the ordinary. With a simple yet powerful storyline, the film follows two British soldiers in World War I, entrusted with a life-saving mission to deliver a cease-fire message. What sets “1917” apart is its innovative use of long, continuous shots, creating an immersive experience that transports the audience into the heart of a never-ending personal journey.
The film unfolds in a relentless sequence, taking place over a single day from noon to the next morning. The captivating long takes lend a sense of urgency and constant movement, capturing the unyielding determination of the soldiers as they walk and run through various settings, from the treacherous trenches to the desolate fields and abandoned houses. As viewers, we are drawn into this action-packed voyage, sympathizing with the characters on their solitary path through the nakedness of war.
While “1917” refrains from dwelling on philosophical discussions or lengthy dialogues, its simplicity serves as its strength. The minimalist approach allows us to intimately connect with the emotions of the two soldiers without being weighed down by an overwhelming number of characters or complex plotlines. This focus on the personal journey enhances the film’s relatability, as it becomes easier for the audience to understand and immerse themselves in the soldiers’ experiences.
The technical brilliance of “1917” lies in its cinematography and set design. The stunning visuals and intricate details make each scene a visual feast, leaving a lasting impression on the viewer’s mind. The seamless blending of real and constructed sets adds to the film’s authenticity, transporting us back in time to the harrowing reality of World War I.
One of the film’s standout aspects is the casting of relatively young and lesser-known actors, George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman, in the pivotal roles. Their fresh and authentic performances breathe life into their characters, allowing us to see beyond the actors themselves and connect more deeply with the soldiers’ struggles. This decision adds a layer of realism to the film, as it avoids the distraction of familiar superstar faces.
Amid the brutality and tragedy of war, “1917” also infuses moments of humanity and camaraderie. In the midst of the horrors, small acts of compassion and connection between strangers provide glimmers of hope and respite.
The 2-hour runtime of “1917” feels just right, striking a balance between telling a compelling story and keeping the audience engaged without unnecessary length. The film’s dedication to technical excellence and its ability to portray the emotional depths of war set it apart from other epic war movies.
“1917” is not just another war film; it is a powerful tribute to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. It captures the essence of war with unflinching realism, yet it leaves room for empathy and understanding. The film serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by soldiers during World War I and the courage it took to endure such unimaginable hardships.
Edited by Le Hoai