So much has been written about 1917, (2019) accolades galore for director Sam Mendes and his collaboration with Roger Deakins to make it look like a continuous take. Phil and I don’t like going to the cinema, uncomfortable seats, can’t go to the loo without missing the plot, can’t pause or rewind to take in what you are seeing, but we took note of everyone saying you have to see it on the big screen, so we went on the afternoon and did it.
For anyone living under a rock the movie follows 2 young soldiers on a mission to cross no mans land, get through a german occupied village and deliver a general order to a General on the front line to stop an intended attack on retreating Germans, as it’s really a trap and the 1600 British soldiers will all be massacred. It’s an arduous journey that they undertake, but no spoilers so I’ll shut up about the plot.
My bum started hurting 1/2hr into the film, the seats at cineworld are the worst, which kind of takes you out of being immersed in the film but I hadn’t drunk anything since 10am so at least I didn’t need the loo. The movie was so interesting in how it looked, the continuous shot trope very effective at taking you along with the 2 lads. Realistic looking trenches, shell craters, and a devasted French countryside are a feast for the eyes. You don’t see very much fighting and legs been blown off etc, but the dead bodies are embedded in the landscape, rotting carcasses of blown up horses, and everywhere the rats making the most of this bounty. Phil really wanted to pause and have a good look at some of the scenes. (Bluray on the way 🙂 ).
The acting is spot on, George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman play the 2 soldiers, I kept thinking I recognised Chapman from something but couldn’t figure it out, I looked him up to find he played Tommen in Game of Thrones, he’s come a long way since then! Some great actors have tiny parts, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, to name a couple only have fleeting scenes, but they make the most of them.
So great cinematography, directing and acting makes this movie well worth seeing, but somehow I was not inspired by the actual story. It wasn’t quite believable. As Cathy Templesman of The New York Times wrote, the story gives a “dangerously misleading” picture of the War, suggesting “a concern for the sanctity of human life from the top down”, whereas the reality was “an appalling indifference as the British high command sent hundreds of thousands of their young men to die”. She adds that the “false heroics and filmmaking feats of wonder“ serve to provide an “escape from the true carnage of the ‘Great War’”, and that in reality the scale of the casualties was such that the potential loss of 1,600 men would not have excited the response portrayed in the film.”
But I’ll happily watch it again when the Bluray comes, the plot is incidental to the visual awesomeness really.
Our Saturday night fun movie was Spiderman Far from Home. This follows on from Avengers Endgame, and we went in with a little trepidation as the first Spiderman in this series was annoying. I’m glad to say things are much improved in that Spiderman/Peter Parker as played by Tom Holland has calmed down somewhat. There’s a lot more going on with him this time, no longer the happy, gobby teenager, but deeply affected by the loss of his mentor Tony Stark, and overwhelmed by the responsibility of being the last Avenger standing. He just wants a normal life and to get together with a girl he likes, M.J played by Zendaya. There’s a lot of pathos, a fair amount of laughs along the way, and of course the brilliant special effects and CGI. Jake Gylenhall had a blast (literally!) as the deceptive villain, with Samuel L Jackson reprising his role as Nick Fury, Marissa Tomei as Peter’s Aunty, and Jon Favreau as Happy. Anyway on the whole we liked this a lot more than the previous Spiderman and even Phil could follow the plot!
Midway through the credits we get the set-up for the next Spiderman movie to come, and at the end a fairly big surprise which I presume is the set-up for the greater MCU, whatever that’s going to be.