I’d never heard of a single take movie. Family and friends kept telling us about this brilliant new war movie called 1917. “It is a single take…” they said, as if that made all the difference. Never having been a lover of war movies, unlike himself, this impressive bit of information made no difference to me. However, as the raves continued to roll in, we bit the bullet as it were, and took ourselves to see it.
It’s gripping watching. Filmed from the point of view of the two main characters, it feels as if you are right beside them. The camera shows what they see in front, behind, next to and around them as they run an urgent message from the general to troops at the frontline who are, unbeknownst to them, about to walk into a trap. 1600 lives are at risk. And they have limited time to reach them. They must run through the British trenches, cross No-Man’s Land, get through German escarpments, a town and head down river to the woods where the men are preparing to attack the enemy.
It’s a one-direction journey. It’s visually raw and real. And yes, there is blood and guts. I can’t say I enjoyed it. It’s not that kind of movie. It’s sobering. It made me think of my father during WW2.
But I can say that it was a brilliantly told and filmed story based on true stories told to the director by his grandfather. And yes, it is worth seeing.
Lest We Forget