Dir. Sam Mendes. UK. 2019. 118 mins.
In 1917, writer-director Sam Mendes seeks to blast The Great War into modern-day theatres by applying a Saving Private Ryan treatment to the most tragic of conflicts which has been met cinematically with a century’s worth of reverberating shock and reverence. He uses the front as a set for nail-biting drama – a big-screen, single-shot action thriller, a World War II-style film about the First World War. Mendes, working with young screenwriter Kyrsty Wilson-Cairns, should be lauded for his boldness; there may be some initial structural issues, but the film does not fall short in its audacity, or in its honour of the 40 million who lost their lives in this futile fight.
There’s an audacity here which is completely unexpected
1917 is dedicated to the director’s great-grandfather, and his stories of the ’war to end all wars’ which he survived. And there’s an appealing,…