Genre: Drama | War|
Runtime: 119 min
Director: Sam Mendes
Starring: Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Daniel Mays
Sam Mendes is one of the best directors out there. He has the confidence in making the movies that no other filmmaker does. He handles most of his stories with respect and dignity. At least enough to give an immersive impact on the audience to make them never forget what he has delivered. He’s easily the most humane and best director there is on making a personal portrait. He knows and understands the craft of filmmaking.
This movie is proof of that. It’s a story about two young British soldiers that try to go from one place to another in a limit time frame. In the lead, we have Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay as the two young soldiers that try to understand the mission and prevent from an attack to occur. As the stories go, it resembles from early critical acclaimed films like Saving Private Ryan (1998), in terms of that with the R-rated content and the immersible connected characters. But the strong content that this film offers is the cinematography and the editing because it’s easy to follow – even if it’s edited like a long continuous shot.
The IMAX helps the comprehensive format, which I experienced a week before the premiere. The sound and the image really broaden the view and gets you even closer within the war experience. You feel with the character and it’s a long marathon. And it never stops. That’s also what makes it feel like’s like a never-ending story in the attitude of the adrenalin rush of Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). It can also contribute to the weaker aspect of this story. It’s really ambitious in the attempt on evolving a new element of storytelling. The cinematography helps to tell this story in no other way. It probably would stagger a lot if it didn’t take on this approach. It helps.
Chapman and MacKay take on a story and their characters are intriguing and likeable to some extent. MacKay is the leading one. The film has a nice supporting cast from Colin Firth, Andrew Scott and Benedict Cumberbatch. They’re not involved that much, merely only in the background. The thing is that with this story, you know the ending. You know that these characters need to travel from point A to point B and some things are going to happen along the way because it’s war and the stakes of thousands of lives are at stake whether these soldiers would fail to do the mission.
The soundtrack helps to bring out the emotional aspect of the plot, it helps even to develop these characters. To extend their emotions in certain places. It’s a strong movie, R-rated and as you live in this world you’ll never take a still and calm moment. There’s always something ticking that never leaves and never leaves you. That’s what the music and the directing from Sam Mendes means for this movie.
Even if the plot may be weak and you don’t know that much of the characters, the impact this story has is just as important. It’s more of an experience where you dwell in a hell hole and you won’t be able to breathe for two hours. No, not really. It’s an immersive experience and it doesn’t go away that easy. Unless you’re heartless and doesn’t care for these young helpless soldiers to bring the message in time, then maybe this motion picture doesn’t really deserve you as an audience.
It’s for the time being nominated for 10 Academy Awards and for the sake of the story, it should take all of the awards but won’t because of the lack of intelligence. Just like Joker (2019), it’s a simple story but the experience gives something much further. It’s something stronger and it stays with you for a long time, even after two weeks of seeing the film.