Five Reasons You’ll Love It - January 10, 2020

1917 - Five Reasons You'll Love It
by Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

1917 - Five Reasons You'll Love It

After two outings with 007, you might have thought that director Sam Mendes might have fancied something a little more sedate for his next big-screen outing, but not a bit of it. 

His new effort, 1917, puts him at the heart of World War I, with an all-star cast and an epic scale to rival anything he did with Mr Bond. 

1917 follows two young soldiers, Schofield and Blake, who are given a seemingly impossible mission. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers—Blake’s own brother among them. 

George MacKay, Game Of Thrones man Dean-Charles Chapman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Madden and Andrew Scott come together for the film.

Mendes directs and has co-written the script with Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who has also co-written Edgar Wright's new movie Last Night in Soho. 

1917 is out now in UK cinemas and will be released on DVD later in the year. You can pre-order it here in hmv's online store, but, before that, we caught an early screening and have rounded up five reasons why you'll love this one of a kind action thriller...


This is George McKay and Dean Charles Chapman's film...

The names above the poster might be British acting royalty, but this film rests almost entirely on the shoulders of Chapman and McKay. Andrew Scott, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Scott all arrive and deliver, but their roles are so fleeting they could have easily told their Addison Lee driver to circle the studio a few times. We are with the pair from the movie's first breaths and they command it superbly. 


The scale is quite something...

You can see every penny of the $90 million budget on the screen. There are so many extras and the detail of the uniforms, the weaponry, the cigarettes and locations is on a hugely impressive scale. War films have something of a speciality in scale, we've been wowed by so many in the past, but 1917 can now take a seat at the table alongside Saving Private Ryan, Atonement and the other greats. 


It's very stylish...

Much has been made of the film's look, which encompassed long takes and elaborately choreographed moving camera shots to give the effect of one continuous take. For geeks and budding directors, it's a masterclass in style and the execution of an idea. It also gives the film a real click and verve, especially when set to Thomas Newman's stirring score. 


And very gruesome...

Amid all the incredible period detail and the flourishes of a director in total command of his oeuvre, the creators have not forgotten the horrors of the conflict. Every time audiences start to get comfortable and enjoy the action there's a visceral, bloody reminder of the reality of the war. 


The pacing is superb...

The nature of the single shot and the story itself means this is a film that is always on the move. It's breathless and utterly thrilling, and, when it does pause for breath, it does so carefully and with a sucker punch awaiting each time. 



1917 is out now in UK cinemas and will be released on DVD later in the year. You can pre-order it here in hmv's online store. 

1917 Sam Mendes

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