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1917 – Breathtakingly bland?

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So I finally saw the much talked about Sam Mendes film and am slightly conflicted about what my opinion of 1917 is. As soon as the film was over, there was a sense of “I am so glad I saw this in the theatre” in my head. But despite being a war movie, 1917 didn’t make me cry, not even tear up.

I tore up while watching Jo Jo Rabbit and I think it was perhaps the better movie, even if just by a point. Not only did it draw laughs from the audience, but also brought out the waterworks. 1917 doesn’t bring out either. No catharsis.

But what 1917 did manage to do was, at least for me, was keep me at the edge of my seat. For most of the film, I was in awe of the camera work, even though it’s pretty easy to see all the cuts. I mention this because the movie has a got a lot of praise for looking like it was shot in one take.

“See, they paused it here and continued shooting from here,” my husband kept telling me in the theatre each time he saw an obvious cut. As the film progressed, I started doing it too (pointing out cuts).

The plot is pretty simple, two men sent on a suicide mission to cross over patches that may be occupied by the enemies and warn British troops against making an attack.

Mendes and his team capture all the brutal morbidities of war in a raw and visually stunning manner. But there is not one dialogue that is recall worthy. Also, none of the characters have a solid arc.

The film was a cinematic marvel due to the good camera-work and set designs. However, plot and script-wise, the makers did a pretty lousy job. For me that doesn’t change the fact that I was mighty satisfied with the film and would give it an eight on ten.

But husband disagrees. “I have seen better Tamil films. The second half was so bad” he declared at the end of it. Other south-Indian film fans might agree. Oh wait. That was Parasite

Final verdict – I think it’s definitely worth watching, but only if you can catch it on the big screen. You will either love it or be disappointed.

 

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