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Reviews Film / Nineteen Seventeen

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02/28/2020 20:43:03 •••

Brilliant, Harrowing, Necessary

1917 is not a fun movie. There are maybe 3 light-hearted or heartwarming scenes across the entire runtime. The plot does not result in the war being ended early or the heroes "saving the day" unlike, say, Wonder Woman (2017). Almost every fucked-up aspect of World War I short of mustard gas is displayed in grisly detail.

And thank god for that.

The one-shot cinematography is breathtaking, beautiful, and intelligent, always focusing on what needs to be focused on while never sacrificing artistry when possible. The characters, for their limited dialogue, all feel very real and grounded, trying to make the best of a shitty situation and only sometimes succeeding.

But you don't go into this movie to have fun, and you shouldn't. It's less of a story and more of a reminder, and a timely one at that: regardless of what politicians and leaders and online glory hounds will tell you, War Is Hell. No one wins in the end, nothing is truly "saved" or "protected". It's a pointless, joyless lose-lose scenario to be avoided at all costs. And that's what we need to know, constantly. Hats off to the cast and crew.

02/28/2020 00:00:00

Oh, one more thing: with how many big-name actors get to be One-Scene Wonders here, it\'s highly impressive that the two leads (played by young men I\'ve never even heard of before) hold their own as well as they do.


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