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1917 (2019)

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There's a point where it just seems like nothing devastating is actually going to happen to the lead.
WARNING: spoilers below
Thank god tension isnít always produced by someone dying. His partner died. Surely that was sufficient.


I thought the movie was good and decent, however, it wouldn't have been near as entertaining if it wasn't for the seemingly one shot takes, and that really carries a lot of the movie. But still good though.
1 or 2 long takes made no difference to me. I didnít even notice I was so engrossed in the storytelling.
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Ami-Scythe's Avatar
A bucket of anxiety
Thank god tension isnít always produced by someone dying. His partner died. Surely that was sufficient.
Spoilers much? I'm not saying there's no tension but there isn't much of it after a while.
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Ami-Scythe



I plan on watching this again to cement my opinion but I was rather underwhelmed with this...

For me, the one take approach was distracting as hell. I was annoyed every time one could say ďthere was a cut. There was another one. And another oneĒ. The camera travels behind so many trees and obstacles just to make those cuts and it annoys me. A lot of it donít feel natural.

I also was never engaged in the story and characters. It felt so basic to me. Didnít really have an emotional investment with what was going on... the film does have some key scenes that were great but overall I was disappointed. It seemed like a great idea to make a war film in a one take manner, but to me it just didnít work that well on screen. I found myself looking at the establishing shot and thinking ďoh. Now we will have to sit and wait for 5 minutes until the characters walk all the way over thereĒ. I wish the film would have had the same ambition in story and characters as it apparently did in the technical department...



Only saw it once but I loved it the first go around! Kept the viewer feeling like they were a part of it the whole time
Agreed. I really loved this one, even if it isnít quite a favorite.



movie is a masterpiece. in terms of visceral war effects, it's 2nd only to saving private ryan, maybe even better with a show, don’t tell approach. there's a reason they coudn't make this type of movie earlier, needed budget and technology to progress to this point.

it's probably the most realistic war story ever made. nolan and bong joon-ho (the parasite) are two are my favorite filmmakers, but this movie was better and will ultimately be more important than dunkirk or parasite.

they took all the hollywood glorification and violence shooting fantasy out of it. This the film noir tribute version of "tomb of the unknown solider". the story of the no name solider, played by the no name actor giving everything they had to do their part in a sea of human misery. A suckerpunch to tha audience removing most of the goo goo fantasy that is to the palate of most of movie watchers, non soldiers. Demonstration of the fog of war in full effect (leadership had little knowledge of who was dead or alive)

For the audience that yearns for more “feel good”, but never receives it. That’s the point. Real world, and the story’s in the details. the background was a main character and story telling element. The twist that the typical protagonist brother would be the first to die, without any ceremony or glory. The boundary between life and death so small, no time for mourning. The love between two soldiers, with sco volunteering to climb the ladder first across no mans. the desperation in sco’s eyes and behavior when pushing the truck, the infectious subtle heroism when the other troops join in. They way sco keeps checking the picture of his family after every harrowing event. Hundreds of soldiers running bravely, but wastefully to their death because sco couldn’t get there 15 minutes earlier.

The hidden cuts was not a gimmick. It completely served and was appropriate for this movie. It sucked in the audience to a story with no escape, no way to look away. No rest for the audience or sco.

From historical comments elsewhere, apparently 95% of that troop got wiped out soon after as benedict foreshadowed. They were forced to retreat and swim across the river, but the germans were waiting for them on the other side.

spielberg's band of brothers was a bit glorified action. his pacific was a much more honest depiction of war

it doesn't have the allegory of full metal jacket, but it's a complete different type of movie.



I did question myself to recognize the likelihood of these "boys" just not being able to perform under the extreme burdens that war places on them; but, like I noted, it was just so frequent. I could believe in a few close calls. How many shots were fired at him, from a sniper, as he stood still? Sure, exhaustion affects aim, but that it happened so many times, with every other enemy encounter, was a problem.
the bridge shooter was not a "sniper". also, look at the quality of the in movie described "stragglers" left behind by the germans (truck scene). Who would the germans leave in the town? in a trap to draw in the Brits? we saw an evidence of a drunkard and a very young (read inexperienced) soldier. these were below average soldiers, probably left to bait the brits in. also, it's possible he was already wounded before the engagement started.

I know a lot of movie watchers have problems with this scene because we've been fed a regular fantasy diet of super soldiers snipers landing bull**** shots. there are tons of youtube review from actual snipers who debunk these movies all the time. The german, nor sco was an elite soldier, just an average dude, its the point.

For example, not recognizing the very high risk that a lone bucket full of milk in an otherwise obliterated farm would not have been wired for explosives. Or at least that he probably should have considered it, in that he found the wire mentioned earlier in the bunker and again commenting how the Germans destroyed their own guns before retreating to keep their enemy from claiming them. He is clearly aware by that point of German tactics and traps.
the milk left behind and sole cow survivor was intentional. in war, may mistakes are made. maybe a german soldier refused to kill the one cow, or it hid. life was still happening, even in the war zone. some civ milked the one cow left and fled and hid when they saw soldiers.

not every bucket of milk is a rigged grenade, every dead soldier is just pretend sleeping to ambush the heroes. this is tropes that have been used too many times; this movie went with a more realistic and better approach imo.



movie is a masterpiece. in terms of visceral war effects, it's 2nd only to saving private ryan, maybe even better with a show, donít tell approach. there's a reason they coudn't make this type of movie earlier, needed budget and technology to progress to this point.

it's probably the most realistic war story ever made. nolan and bong joon-ho (the parasite) are two are my favorite filmmakers, but this movie was better and will ultimately be more important than dunkirk or parasite.

they took all the hollywood glorification and violence shooting fantasy out of it. This the film noir tribute version of "tomb of the unknown solider". the story of the no name solider, played by the no name actor giving everything they had to do their part in a sea of human misery. A suckerpunch to tha audience removing most of the goo goo fantasy that is to the palate of most of movie watchers, non soldiers. Demonstration of the fog of war in full effect (leadership had little knowledge of who was dead or alive)

For the audience that yearns for more ďfeel goodĒ, but never receives it. Thatís the point. Real world, and the storyís in the details. the background was a main character and story telling element. The twist that the typical protagonist brother would be the first to die, without any ceremony or glory. The boundary between life and death so small, no time for mourning. The love between two soldiers, with sco volunteering to climb the ladder first across no mans. the desperation in scoís eyes and behavior when pushing the truck, the infectious subtle heroism when the other troops join in. They way sco keeps checking the picture of his family after every harrowing event. Hundreds of soldiers running bravely, but wastefully to their death because sco couldnít get there 15 minutes earlier.

The hidden cuts was not a gimmick. It completely served and was appropriate for this movie. It sucked in the audience to a story with no escape, no way to look away. No rest for the audience or sco.

From historical comments elsewhere, apparently 95% of that troop got wiped out soon after as benedict foreshadowed. They were forced to retreat and swim across the river, but the germans were waiting for them on the other side.

spielberg's band of brothers was a bit glorified action. his pacific was a much more honest depiction of war

it doesn't have the allegory of full metal jacket, but it's a complete different type of movie.
I loved this movie too...a lot better than Saving Private Ryan, which bored the crap out of me.



I loved this movie too...a lot better than Saving Private Ryan, which bored the crap out of me.
Whoa whoa...whoa....!
SPR had much better character development and better cinematography, IMO. Taking nothing away from 1917, which is a very fine movie, but I wouldnít compare it to SPV necessarily.



Whoa whoa...whoa....!
SPR had much better character development and better cinematography, IMO. Taking nothing away from 1917, which is a very fine movie, but I wouldnít compare it to SPV necessarily.
SPR is a masterpiece. 1917 not in the same league in any way.



SPR is a masterpiece. 1917 not in the same league in any way.
Agreed.

1917
was decent, but it left no lasting impact on me. Too many individual 'challenges' happened to the soldier to make it believable in any realistic way. Know when to say when.



Welcome to the human race...
I'd definitely contest the idea that this is the "most realistic war story" - I'd be more likely to suggest Come and See or the Human Condition trilogy in that regard. Compared to those, 1917 is yet another conventional story about heroic valour and an individual defying the odds to win the day (crystallised by Scofield running along the trench at the end in what may well be the most iconic part of the film), even if it is mitigated by the fact that he didn't save literally everyone (then again, Saving Private Ryan is also a film where most of the principal characters die but the goal is achieved anyway). The technical angle is still a bit of a problem since the long-take is still able to distance a viewer on account of being a constant reminder that You Are Watching A Movie at least as much as excessive cutting (which ironically means it falls into the uncanny valley of being less realistic the more it tries).
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How about "immersive" instead of "realistic"? Might not be true but might be closer to the idea that's trying to be communicated? Just throwin' it out there.
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Welcome to the human race...
Good point, though I think the last sentence in my previous post indicates that I don't think 1917 works particularly well as an immersive experience either.



I liked it because it really went into the strange nature of the WW I trench war. There wasn't very much in the way of heroics in that war because so much of it was almost a matter of random chance. You hide in a trench and take on the statistical risk that a high trajectory shell will land in your part of the trench (game over) or you go into a frontal assault against a wall of machine gun projectiles, barbed wire and gas. If their guys run out of bullets before your guys run out of men, you win. Usually a round of shelling came before an "over the top" charge, in the hope that the shelling would disable the machine guns or their gunners, in the hope of winning the numbers of bullets VS number of men calculation when the assault happened.

The Germans dug deeper trenches then the western allies, which gave them much more protection, but they started to run out of men and materiel, and couldn't do frontal assaults, especially after the US entered the war with a million or so fresh bodies. Tanks introduced a wild card to the combat, and airplanes were a minor factor. I had a very old family member who was a vet of that war and he NEVER spoke of it except to say that you just either lived or died and didn't know why. Psychological trauma, gas injury and deafness were a big part of the survivors.

I thought that the movie portrayed a lot of that quite well, like the nearly random chances of being killed and the fact that heroics were rarely very effective. It was all really MUCH worse than the movie, but like a lot of war movies, audiences could not stand something close to reality.



I liked it because it really went into the strange nature of the WW I trench war.
Did you ever see this amazing documentary? One dreadful scene shows British soldiers about to go ďover the topĒ & the look on the faces of the soldiers is horrendous. As the narrator grimly points out, this most likely was the final 30 minutes of their lives.