The above title reads correctly and isn’t a mistake, our focus today is based on a movie titled 1917. If it’s news to you then you clearly haven’t caught up with all the various developments in the movieverse this year. 1917 has been a revelation that surprised many at this year’s Golden Globe Awards by officially scooping three awards (Best Motion Picture Drama, Best Director Motion Picture and Satellite Award for Best Cinematography). It doesn’t stop there as the movie has recently also landed a whopping nine nominations at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). So yes, and in case it hadn’t occurred to you, this is one special movie despite its generic title.
As part of their annual Oscar Buzz screening event, Ster-Kinekor hosted us at the recently renovated and classy Cinema Nouveau in Rosebank. This is where we got the opportunity to see the movie for ourselves and to better find out what all the seeming fuss around it is all about.
Predominantly a war driven action drama, 1917 is a movie spearheaded by award winning driector Sam Mendes who has also overseen fantastic other titles such as Spectre, Skyfall, Revolutionary Road to mention a few. His latest work, 1917, is arguably his best work yet with the premise for it being set at the height of the First World War where two young British soldiers, Schofield (Captain Fantastic’s George MacKay) and Blake (Game of Thrones’ Dean-Charles Chapman) 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.
1917 is a story about brotherhood, bravery and courage driven by the two soldiers who go through the most with various challenges and obstacles in their way as they seek to complete their mission. A daunting one that literally requires them to go through enemy lines. The movie does a stellar job in giving you insight into what it was like to be a soldier during those times, a horrifying experience we don’t wish on anyone.
There isn’t too much in terms of character development in the story, something we found interesting. The movie immediately hits the ground running and doesn’t take time to build up. It’s also not hard to realise why it’s already won the awards that it has to date. It’s simple in its approach while remaining a very gripping watch, George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman are perfectly cast in the lead roles and it shouldn’t come as a surprise if their careers reach even bigger heights as a result. It also includes a small cast with brief appearances from familiar faces, namely Richard Madden (Bodyguard), Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Mark Strong (Kingsman: The Golden Circle) and Colin Firth (The King’s Speech).
His first war drama film, Sam Mendes has done a superb job in his first attempt. 1917 makes for a great, suspenseful and gripping watch. No doubt it’s again a front runner for more awards this year including the upcoming Oscars. Definitely worth your time, it’s currently on the circuit not only in Cinema Nouveau but also in the immersive IMAX experience. A solid movie and that’s why it gets a 7.5 out of 10 rating from us.
Expertly hosted we were at a classy gathering, our thanks to Ster-Kinekor for the experience and of course the screening.