I Took My 12-Year-Old to See ‘1917’
My 12-year-old boy has been hounding me to take him to see the Sam Mendes directed-movie 1917. My son is enthralled with history, with a particular interest in the Great War and World War II.
Since the first time he saw the trailer on YouTube, I gave him a firm "maybe" about letting him see it in theaters. I had reservations due to the film's "R" rating and the content that could be included in the war film.
"You'll be able to see it someday, but maybe not right now," I told him.
I recently took him to see the much more benign movie Midway. The movie was the perfect mix of action and adventure without a heavy dose of gore. The 1917 movie, however, by all accounts had much more raw violence.
My wife and I went back and forth about bringing him, but because of his true interest in the subject, we were leaning more towards yes than no. Willie Waffle's movie review was glowing. He couldn't say enough about the cinematography and how well Mendes captures the horror of war. Not exactly what you want your 12-year-old witnessing.
We decided to let him go.
If I had to summarize the movie in one word it would be intense. The tension in the theater was high as two young British soldiers bravely try to make their way across "no man's land" and walk straight into the German front lines.
Mendes captures the fear, the sights, smells and death that war brought to the men of World War I. His over-the-shoulder perspective virtually brings you on the soldiers' journey in real-time. By the end of the film, you feel as if you've embarked on the mission right alongside the characters. Is there a better compliment to pay a director?
I'm glad my son saw the movie. Every now and then it's good to see a movie that reminds us of the selfless sacrifices those in the military made and continue to make to protect freedom.
1917 is one of those films.