When it comes to 1917 I’m left wondering if people just read the press kit or if they actually went and sat through the entire movie. I thought 1917 maybe suffered from an incredibly unimaginable title but the real truth of the matter is what else was there to name it. The characters and plot is so paper thin that none of it deserves to be mentioned in the title. Not to say that this film has no redeeming qualities, but this is what a lot of people would regard as a cinematic masterpiece? The whole spectacle of it just seems like an excuse to get Roger Deakins a well deserved second Oscar win, but that doesn’t necessarily accumulate to the gripping experience others are going to have you imagine it to be. I think 1917 really suffers from competing against two factors. The first being that it’s gimmick was just recently done in Birdman and arguably done better. At least in Birdman the continuous nature is capturing the busy behind the scenes of the stage and jostles your attention from place to place instead of spinning around open fields, or dull meaningless conversations. I somehow felt more entertained by Sam Mendes filming a plastic bag then most of 1917. The other competition that 1917 sees is that it’s a war movie and I don’t think it stacks up to the story or chaos of Hacksaw Ridge or the creative elements found in Dunkirk. I’m just very confused as to what 1917 wanted to be. At some points I think it wants to be this immersive film that uses almost like a video game character to just be a stand in for the audience so they can go on this voyeuristic uniquely immersive journey. Yet, if that’s the case… and I’m supposed to feel like I’m in the war zone with this bloke…why is there constantly this over the top blaring score. If it really wanted to immerse you in the action and feel your really walking in this characters shoes, why does it constantly sound like the Uncharted 4 Trailer. It just screams “PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t think I’m boring”. If the music is supposed to make it seem like this journey of epic proportions then how come rarely anything happens. It odds how war movies often allow us to feel a deep emotional connection to soldiers as we get to follow a real person’s journey. It’s that protagonist that humanizes statistics so when we learn that the actions of our hero saves thousands of lives we recognize that those lives are people just the same. When our protagonist is a hunk of wood you just don’t feel that. I always found that you should get more out of watching the film then the trailer, and what do you get out of this film? I love technically sound movies (It slightly saves this one) but I’ve always had a problem with these gimmick films. Maybe it’s not fair but I feel that nobody would give a rat’s ass about 1917 if it was shot normally. Unfair to say, maybe a little you can say that about any movie but when you think about it in the case of 1917 it really just demonstrates how shallow and uninteresting it is from a story perspective. Doesn’t the luster not wear off midway through the film. I know everyone gushed over Baby Driver because of the music/editing gimmick and I thought that film was atrocious. Speaking of obnoxious, I’m surprised that nobody else is bothered by a character with a surprising amount of “being able to dodge bullets”. I understand that WW1 rifles weren’t the best but the bloke runs in a straight line and bullets just wizz by him a lot of the time. The only time he gets hit, he’s in front of the guy and gets shot in the back of the head, and then dies and then just wakes up and then he’s completely fine. It’s a shame because this film really reminds me of The Revenant which is one of my favorites. Except The Revenant features a world class actor, and engaging journey, more characters, commentary, stunning visuals, themes, an epic score that knows when to be bone chilling and when to let the action take center stage (OMG could you imagine the bear mauling scene with the same melodramatics the 1917 score has), and an honest portray of peril that doesn’t feel like explosives and sound effects are just going off. If both The Revenant and 1917 are about partaking on a harrowing journey look at how damaged and destitute Hugh Glass looks compared to the 1917 bloke. The only scene I really liked was when he has his one mental breakdown moment where it seems he’s had enough of this shit… it’s too brief of a moment but I’m glad they at least gave amount to acknowledge the emotional toll it has had on our bloke. 1917 is a bold achievement of a film that presents a constant sense of danger or ordeal but is so thin in all elements of story that I can only praise it as a tech demo. Does having a gimmick really make you better or more original? At some point did you start reading this review and go haha I get it because the movie is one continuous shot making the entire review one continuous paragraph is kind of neat. But as you went further on and on you just really got annoyed by the lack of breaks and organization and the sporadic points weren’t as interesting to keep your constant attention? That how I feel about 1917 this is cool but we get it enough already, do you have anything else to offer? Nope, okay then I guess we’re done here. I don’t like number scores for reviews but despite how much I find it underwhelming and overrated 1917 is still like a 6/10 on my scale. Hopefully Parasite is closer to meeting my preconceived expectations as The Lighthouse was then how 1917 played up to them.

7 thoughts on “1917 – Mendes Plastic Bag on the Battlefield?

  1. Sorry for not being around as much as I would like to… I wish I could be an entertaining bright spot during our self-isolating fiasco but have found myself kept busy with other works and pursuits. Still hope to be posting here and there and hopefully this and the rest of my catalog is enough to tie you down until next time.

    – K

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I never saw this movie and it didn’t look interesting. Even though there aren’t that many modern movies that take place during WWI, I get leery about so many mainstream war movies as they can get jingoistic and revisionist. It’s good to know you didn’t take the Oscar bait.


    1. Yeah War Movies are at a weird place right now because our technological capabilities are advanced enough that we can replicate the period and make it feel as grand and get the magnitude down pat. At the same time, we’re so removed from that era that I don’t think it hits close to home anymore and just sort of exists to be this fantasy of action of a long time ago. I wanted to like 1917 more than I did, I understand what people like about it but sadly I just don’t get all that immersed into something lacking complex story.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t thought about it from a technological standpoint, but that makes a ton of sense. Yeah, you also don’t have any WWI vets who are still alive unlike WWII where you still have older people who were around when it happened. You could also make the case that America wasn’t as involved compared to WWII among other factors. I’m not against movies based on real wars on principle, but my favorite ones involved situations that don’t focus on it that much or show the harsh realities of war without making it look cool such as Grave of the Fireflies, Mother of Mine, and Sophie Scholl: The Final Days to name a few.


    1. Haha thank you for your comment. I don’t think I’m anyone’s favorite player around here or am always agreed with but people seem to think I play in a pretty interesting fashion.


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