[MOVIE REVIEW] 1917 Shows True Struggles and Challenges Faced in WW1


Fair use: Universal Pictures

The two men, Lance Cpl. Blake and Schofield, trudge through enemy lines to accomplish their mission

1917, a WWI drama, was released to theaters nationwide Dec. 25, 2019. Before the movie hit the big screens in many U.S. cities and the U.K., it had already collected three nominations and two wins at the esteemed Golden Globes for Drama Motion Picture and Director of a Motion Picture. The lead characters are two British soldiers, Lance Cpl. Schofield and Lance Cpl. Blake, who raced against time to deliver a crucial message to the front lines of the British army that could save up to 1,600 lives. The plot thickens when the audience finds out that one of the 1,600 men is Lance Cpl. Blake’s brother. The movie is filmed with excellent cinematography, presenting itself as a two-hour continuous scene from their mission. The viewer is immediately lured into the characters and plot, with emotional ties that develop, and also the stress and danger of the situation.

The characters are developed quickly in this story, and the bond between the two men is established immediately. The brotherly pact of a war mission ties them to one another, and they depend on each other to stay alive. They are faced with immediate danger and, although they are young and afraid, they are willing to complete the task at hand. The men have no idea what they are about to be up against, and they plod their way quickly through enemy lines. Soon into the dangerous mission, Lance Cpl. Schofield seems angry about being dragged into the situation because Blake had explicitly chosen him, but when given a chance to leave/abort the mission, he refuses. It seems almost impossible to imagine how the scenery and set were created, as it looks genuine and authentic.

Along with its brilliant sets and directing comes the actual war aspect of the movie. Comparing 1917 to similar movies like Saving Private Ryan shows the audience how war movies can be created. Saving Private Ryan is easily comparable to 1917. Although the two films are shot about different wars (WWI and WWII), they both have a similar goal of finding and helping other soldiers. The only cinematic difference between the two movies is the beginning. At the start of 1917, the two main characters are awakened by a superior officer, and they slowly get up and walk through the somewhat calm trenches. On the other hand, Saving Private Ryan begins with the famous Invasion of Normandy which was jam-packed with gunshots, bombs, and frightened men. 

The great plot along with the cinematography improves the movies and make it worthwhile to watch this WWI drama.”

The great plot and excellent acting along with the special effects and cinematography improves the movies and make it worthwhile to watch this WWI drama. On the other hand, the ending of the film seems to be too exaggerated and a little impossible. While trying to find Lance Cpl. Blake’s brother, Lance Cpl. Schofield walks for just a couple of minutes before finding him on a vast military base that is in a tense gunfight. Soon after seeing him, he goes and sits down by a peaceful tree as the camera fades into darkness. The weird part of this is how improbable it was for him to find Blake’s brother, and then it got confusing when the war and gunshots seemed to stop when Lance Cpl. Schofield took a much-needed break in an area that was just a full-on war zone. Other than that, the movie was perfect.

Even though several esteemed websites have ranked many war movies above 1917, it shows the real struggle the men go through along with their overarching goal, which makes it one of the best war movies of all time… hands down. During the Academy Awards on February 9th, 2020, the film won three awards, including best cinematography, best sound mixing, and best visual effects.

Currently, the movie is only available in theaters all over the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, but will soon be available on streaming services and cable networks like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube TV, Xfinity, DirecTV, and more.

Rating: ★★★★★

This story was updated to include the star rating and to correct the photo credit from @1917 to the more specific Universal Pictures.