Sam Mendes' 1917 Is Your Latest Dose Of British Stiff Upper-Lip

07 August 2019
Movies, Colin Firth, Richard Madden, Benedict Cumberbatch
Image: Universal Pictures

If you're after some serious Dunkirk vibes, this is for you

Pip pip and tally-ho, old chums. Once again, a British war movie is coming to the screen and once again, it's filled with a whole lot of British spunk.

Thankfully though, for people who are maybe a little tired of wide-ranging war films like Dunkirk and the spectacle that Roland Emmerich's Midway is also promising, 1917 — which is coming to life care of Skyfall (so you know it's going to be British as they come) and American Beauty director Sam Mendes — takes a more human, almost Saving Private Ryan-esque human approach to a war that shocked the world so much with its brutality.

It did go to battle of course, but that's another matter entirely.

1917 will follow the stories of Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman AKA Tommen Baratheon from GoT), two young recruits sent off on a daring, behind enemy lines mission to deliver an order to Schofield's brother's battalion before it's led into a catastrophic battle. The cast also gets its fair share of well-established British icons in Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, Colin Firth as a mustachio'd commander, and Richard Madden.

This makes for an extremely intriguing premise, particularly as World War I is still a conflict that hasn't been as heavily touched on in feature films as its successor. But does Mendes's presentation of the war really reflect what the soldiers went through? It's as stylishly shot as Nolan's Dunkirk, as many people are pointing out in the trailer's comment section on YouTube, but Dunkirk was able to get away with it as it dealt largely with a group of soldiers staying in the same place. Mendes seems to have brought the same level of sheen to a story that should be more brutal and gritty. Still, it's only a trailer, so time will tell.

There are some mitigating factors, though. According to a story from Indiewire, the film has enlisted renowned DOP Roger Deakins, who's apparently filmed the entire thing to look like one continuous shot (probably with some very subtle, clever cuts for time). If this is the case, and he brings anything like the quality he's brought to projects like Blade Runner: 2047, Sicario, and True Grit, the result could be absolutely stunning.

We're going to have to wait a while to find out though. 1917 will reportedly drop in US cinemas first on Christmas Day.


Via GQ Australia