Review: Two young British soldiers, Schofield and Blake, during the First World War are given an impossible mission. Their mission is to deliver a message and cross enemy territory that will stop a deadly attack on 1,600 men. One of them being Blake’s own brother.
Director: Sam Mendes
Actors: Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay, Daniel Mays, Colin Firth, Pip Carter, Andy Apollo, Paul Tinto, Billy Postlethwaite, Gabriel Akuwudike, Andrew Scott, Robert Maaser, Gerran Howell, Mark Strong, Richard McCabe, Anson Boon, Kenny Fullwood, Tommy French, Nabhaan Rizwan, Ryan Nolan, Elliot Baxter, Taddeo Kufus, Luke Hornsby, Jack Shalloo, Elliot Edusah, Chris Walley, Michael Jibson, Bradley Connor, Justin Edwards, John Hollingworth, Daniel Attwell, Samson Cox-Vinell, Jonny Lavelle, Michael Rouse, Benedict Cumberbatch, Adrian Scarborough, Richard Dempsey, Phil Cheadle and Richard Madden
Genre: Drama and War
The film is shot and edited in a way that it appears as one continuous take. This is to make the viewers feel like they are actually there on the ground with the soldiers and that they are on the journey with them. I always say in my reviews how good the cinematographer, Roger Deakins is and what fantastic work he has done. Sam Mendes and Roger Deakins both worked on Skyfall (2012) together. Both Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay were brilliantly cast. Great to see new and upcoming actors in a film like this. Apparently, Tom Holland was in talks for the role of Lance Corporal Blake. He ended up turning the role down due to scheduling conflicts. Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Benedict Cumberbatch were all in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011). This is also Benedict Cumberbatch’s fourth war movie. Others include Atonement (2007), War Horse (2011) and The Imitation Game (2014). Both actors Andrew Scott and George McKay worked together in Pride (2014). Look out for actor John Hollingworth’s cameo performance (Poldark, 2015-2017). I was surprised at just how little actual bloodshed there was. The film focused more on the violence and horror of the war. I did like how little script there was and I do think any more and it would have taken away from the film. Most of the film is just done through direction. I really enjoyed the music composed by Thomas Newman which was very cleverly done and thought out and hit all the right notes. It is interesting also how the music was done through song as well as orchestral. I didn’t have a problem with it but there was one scene where it played out like a computer game which I thought was very clever. There were times when watching this where I did think of, They Shall Not Grow Old (2018). The filming locations for this film were over the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, Hankley Common and Govan, Scotland, as well as Shepperton Studios. Since watching this film, I have done nothing but think about it. I found it to be a really powerful and emotional film. Dedicated to Sam Mendes’ grandfather Alfred H. Mendes, 1897-1991. At the Golden Globe Awards in 2020 this won for Best Motion Picture-Drama and also for Best Director-Motion Picture (Sam Mendes).