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Entertainment: ‘1917’ is a cinematic masterpiece

Remember, let’s be polite; let’s be respectful, but most of all, let’s be outspoken.

Over the past few days, I watched the movie, 1917. For those who have seen it or do not mind spoilers, the movie revolves around the narrative of two British soldiers during WWI. They are given direct orders by the general to send a message to a different platoon which was stationed miles away.

The message ordered the commanding officer of the platoon to not attack the Germans because it was a trap. If the commanding officer were to proceed with the attack, 160,000 soldiers would die. To make the situation even more complicated, the attack was the mourning of the next day which meant they had to travel miles in less than 24 hours.

Within the middle of the movie, one of the soldiers was tragically stabbed to death by a German soldier. The second soldier, saddened by his companion’s death, had to move on with the mission by himself. In the end, he manages to deliver the message amid the first wave attack on the German. Because of this, he was able to minimalize casualties and save thousands of lives. Within this article, I will write about the elements that made this movie a cinematic masterpiece.


Cinematography

Winning nine awards in categories like Best Director or Best Motion picture, 1917 has surprised the world. What makes this movie unique is the cinematography and editing skills used to make it appear like one continuous shot. Jumpcuts are edited out and different camera angles are used to make a person feel as if they were there.

Furthermore, numerous scenes are visually appealing. Within the rising action of the movie, there was a city ablaze. Contrasting with the surrounding night sky, the orange luminescent flames consumed buildings. The intense crackling of the culminating embers made the audience feel the rising temperature.

Other scenes provoked emotions of disgust and abhorrence. When the two soldiers were walking the desolate grounds of No Man’s Land, they both fell into a ditch. One of them accidentally slid into the inners of a corpse.

As his hand was shown to be covered with rotting organs, the audience gasped. Hundreds of slain soldiers, barren ecosystems, dire living conditions, and incessant rodents were shown to depict the horrors of the First World War. A scene of the two main characters limping out of a crumbling trench provided suspense and uncertainty.

My favorite scene was when the lone soldier was sprinting across grassy fields in order to give the message as the first wave of soldiers began to attack simultaneously. It depicted pandemonium and the world collapsing around him. Bombshells exploded, soldiers were shot to death, and bodies flew as he attempted to achieve his one objective.


Plot

While I believe the cinematography was the best aspect of the film, the plot also had merit. The film focuses on the brutality and chaos that culminate during acts of war. Throughout the film, death became the norm, panic ensued, and bodies mounted.

However, the theme of the movie was not the tragedy of war but the mentality of soldiers. On a general basis, soldiers who register in the army are giving their lives to a movement greater than themselves. Because of this, soldiers are required to be selfless. The movie accurately depicts this required attribute through numerous scenes.

For example, when one of the main characters attempted to hide in the basement of a house, he finds a young maiden with a baby. The maiden explains she is hiding from the German soldiers that took over the city and how she found the baby. She sheltered the baby but lacked milk to feed her. Seeing this, the soldier gave her a canteen of milk and any food rations he had in his backpack.

Despite his hunger and thirst, he gave his food to people who needed it more than him. Another example can be seen when the two main characters were roaming a vacant German trench. While looking around, one of the main characters triggered explosives laced within the trench.

Because he was closet to the bomb, he was blinded by excessive dust in his eyes. Even though the trench was collapsing and could kill both of them, the other soldier carried his friend to safety despite the risk of dying. These two examples perfectly exemplify the selflessness required to become a soldier. To put the needs of others above your own is admirable and commendable.

Remember, let’s be polite; let’s be respectful, but most of all, let’s be outspoken.

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