Finally got around to watching this film written by Sam Mendes, which was “inspired by Operation Alberich, a German withdrawal to new positions on the shorter and more easily defended Hindenburg Line that took place between 9 February and 20 March 1917.”
Without getting too much “into the weeds” over this piece of cinematography it does with some non-fictional accuracy depicting what it was like during the middle of World War I, which for the most part was fought on the ground and in the trenches across France, Germany and other countries.
It came with some pause when first seeing the film that it felt that something was lacking. However, in the second time viewing it something struck a chord in what (in opinion) the plot of the film was to reveal; of course the horror of war and the condition of the human spirit to endure the challenges and the pain inflicted by the actions of others – the enemies, allies & otherwise, mentally. Not to mention aspects of dignity, honor and heroism – and that of the principle characters in this tale: Lance Corporal Blake & Lance Corporal Schofield.
A defining moment, for yours truly was when Blake was encouraged to carry on with his mission order and told by a superior officer, Captain Smith played by Mark Strong of Zero Dark Thirty (2012) & The Eagle (2011) fame, whom he came across, to insure that “there were witnesses” once delivering the message in his order – Suggesting that the recipient and commanding officer of the battle Blake wound up in didn’t give two-fucks about the men being ordered into the meat grinder – or resigned to ‘what’s the use‘ in resignation of the order itself.
The defining aspect, as well was the bond that the two protagonists shared; fear, happiness, sorrow, regret .. and even more fear. The ending itself was a moving moment of reflection in how far one had come in such little time and to only think of the loved ones left behind, and in hope of seeing again.
1917 received quite a critical acclaim in garnering 4-stars .. would give it 3.99 and a worthy addition to the collection.