Hope is a dangerous thing. It can make you believe in the impossible when all is lost. Yet, at the same time, hope can make you hopeless. But, when you are a man who is torn away from the comforts of home and family to defend the country you inhabit and love, hope becomes the only thing you have left.
Traveling abroad and entertaining our troops overseas, I witnessed first hand the angst soldiers experience defending our country against enemies foreign and domestic. Not being a big fan of war films, I was hesitant, but 1917 was different. This gut-punching drama laden with war casualties, survival by any means necessary, humor and post-war trauma had me from the first frame to the last.
1917 revolves around two young British privates during the First World War who are given the seemingly impossible mission of delivering a message deep in enemy territory hoping to cease 1,600 men from walking straight into a deadly trap.
Lance corporals Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) are giving career making performances within a beautifully shot film directed and written by Sam Mendes. Mendes’ script emotionally conveys the humanity that comes along with warfare. Especially prevalent in a scene where a woman with broken English and an orphaned baby displays kindness toward an injured Lt. Leslie proving that in the most dire of circumstances and differences humanity can prevail.
Mendes created a shooting environment which simulated with great precision trenches filled with mud covered rats, exquisite CGI effects and a fiery scene that rivals the war scene in Gone With The Wind as Scarlett and Rhett attempt to leave Atlanta. His precision for detail can be credited to stories from his Grandfather, Alfred Mendes, a messenger on the Belgian front to whom this film is dedicated
I dare say that the astonishing filmmaking that is prevalent easily places it at the top of the list for Best Picture of 2019. Produced by Universal Pictures in tandem with Amblin Partners, 1917 opens on Christmas Day.