I had heard a little bit about 1917. It was a war movie and on the technical side created to appear like one continuous shot. That was the thing I was most curious about. We don’t watch too many movies at the theater but this sounded like something best experienced on the large screen. Going in I had two questions on my mind. Could the movie pull of this technical feat and if it did manage to pull it off would it end up being a case of all style and no substance?
They did pull it off, and how? It is truly an outstanding achievement. Because I knew this about the movie going in I was scrutinizing every frame of the movie, waiting for the illusion to break. It didn’t. Not just that, everything else about the movie works just as well. The rousing score, the spectacular set pieces, the cast and direction. To tell this story they did not necessarily need do the one shot take. The very fact that they set this direction from the beginning and were ready to commit to making this audacious objective come true, blew my mind.
Not everyone who goes to the movies pays attention to elements like cinematography. The wizard behind the camera here is Roger Deakins of Blade Runner 2049 fame. The amount of advance preparation that would have gone into some of it’s sequences is difficult to comprehend. It reminded me so much of what I felt after watching Mad Max: Fury Road. A true artistic achievement the likes of which may never be attempted again.