An excerpt from my script review for 1917 which will be available 01/06/20:
3.) Quality of Characters
Before we dive into things for this section, it needs to be stated, I enjoyed this script. These criticisms are just one reader’s humble opinion on how to strengthen the overall story.
Aside from the quick goodbye that’s forced on us with Blake, I’m taken aback by Schofield’s character.
He’s supposed to be a veteran, yet acts like anything but.
It’s almost as if he and Blake have the same sort of experience, which doesn’t work for this type of story.
Perhaps considered stereotypes, one needs to be a cock-eyed optimist, while the other should be a grizzled cynic. But it’s storytelling and works.
Where one will be driven by the need to save his brother, leading to a blind style of marching onward, the other will have hesitation due to the amount of death he’s already experienced.
On the latter, I didn’t get that with Schofield past an initial reluctance, and one of the main points it stood out was when they entered the abandoned German front line.
Of course there’d be booby traps.
This would be one of the main ways to slow down your enemy while retreating to fortify new defenses.
But these two stumble along almost like they’re on holiday.
Schofield should have known better.
But then on Blake…
We’re treated to what seems like a genuine human moment, when he and Schofield pull the pilot from the burning plane.
Unfortunately they can’t understand or do much to help, so Schofield goes to get water.
No sooner has he turned around then Blake is stabbed because…plot?
If the intent is to kill Blake ultimately, why do it so quickly?
Why not show us a better moment, where we (the audience) see we’re all the same, but due to the language barrier and different uniforms, the characters fall victim to a drastic misunderstanding?
It felt liked a missed opportunity, and one that would have left more of an impact on us when Blake does indeed pass on.
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