The one-shot style, so excellently executed by Mendes and Deakins, makes 1917 the technical beauty it is
Proving how astounding his ability as a director truly is, Sam Mendes once again reaches into a fresh style of film making as his World War One epic 1917 becomes his most emotive and visually impressive feature to date. Paired with renowned cinematographer Roger Deakins, the film takes on the one-shot style, utilising no visible cuts, opening into a truly incredible and impossibly immersive feature.
April 1917: soldiers Tom (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Will (George MacKay) are stationed in Northern France, waiting for orders or release. Called upon by General Erinmore (Colin Firth) the pair are sent across no man’s land to deliver a message to the Devonshire Regiment, before they’re sent into a trap to their certain death, ‘over the top.’
It’s this one-shot style, so excellently executed by Mendes and Deakins, that makes 1917 the technical beauty it is. Flowing, engaging and pulsating, there’s no let up from the action as the tracking shots both in front of and behind the pair of soldiers provide endless tension, often rising to the surface from its consistent bed under the film’s beautiful wide-angled images.
Not without its flaws, 1917 is far from perfect with an under-developed script and and a score sometimes too involving for its own good, but the technical brilliance of its two figureheads behind the camera absolutely outweigh these pitfalls. 1917 is so exceptional in part, its genius would always shine above any weaker, less involving elements.
Controlled by a powerfully emotional performance from George MacKay, 1917 is a harrowing watch, but one with the utmost respect for the battles the soldiers of the First World War experienced, both mentally and physically. Technically incredible and painfully beautiful, 1917 holds the perfect blend of honouring heroes of the past, without ever glorifying the fears they had to go through to complete these heroic acts.
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