Not much plot to this and what little plot there is frequently doesn't make a lick of sense. It strains credulity to breaking point at times. The German soldiers are about as good as aiming their weapons as the average stormtrooper, for instance. It also presents a strangely sanitized version of trench warfare - which is odd for a purportedly anti-war film.
But I'm seriously glad I caught this at the cinema. As a piece of moviemaking, it's an incredible tour de force. The cinematography and camerawork are the obvious standouts but the production design (and set construction!) deserve special mention too. The SFX and the sound mix (I caught this in an Atmos auditorium) were faultless.
I suspect this isn't going to work nearly as well on a telly, much like 2001: A Space Odyssey becomes a snooze-fest on the small screen.
Can't argue with you at all. Thanks to @davidm I caught Birdman again the night before and 1917's edit points are muh more difficult to spot. I suspect there's quite a bit of digital manipulation going on though, unlike the former's carefully planned physical effects. (I got it wrong by the way - there's three instances of "pan up to the sky" cheats in Birdman). It's unbelievable that neither film was even nominated for an editing Oscar.
I don't think it is, but then again I do love Birdman to bits. And speaking of Oscars, I don't think it's as good a film as either The Irishman or Parasite, but it'll almost certainly beat both.
I read the first paragraph of this post and thought, 'Aye up, here we go, Farley's gonna give it a mauling', but thankfully you redeemed yourself with later comments.
I largely agree to be fair - 1917 doesn't have much 'plot', and what there is is only there to serve the concept of the single take thing - and you do feel that sometimes. Geographically speaking it doesn't make much sense either, I mean, how far did they (he) actually travel? No man's land was, what? 100 yards? Few German trenches, bit of a wood, open field, couple of shelled-out buildings and boom - he's there. Wasn't it supposed to be an 8 or 9km trek that would take several hours? ?
But hey, it's not supposed to be Shakespeare and it's not supposed to be a documentary - 1917 is very much a technical exercise. In that respect, it reminded me a lot of Gravity (which is also a snooze fest on telly). People who complained about it not being scientifically (or in this case, historically) accurate are missing the point. I mean, you wouldn't go on Disney's 'Round the World in 80 Days', and then complain that it didn't actually last 80 days, would you?
What Mendes has done here is offer up a big-screen experience, and a bloody good one at that.
One that's better than Birdman.