Sam Mendez's World War I epic 1917: A must-watch of the year from British filmmaker

'1917' is a world war I film that chronicles the story of two British soldiers who must venture deep into enemy lines to deliver a message that can save allied soldier's lives.

Ambitious, brutal and spell-binding are the types of adjectives critics who have seen the film are using to describe it while claiming it is the best war film since Spielberg's 'Saving Private Ryan' in 1998. Everything from the acting, to the set design down to the talent behind the camera, are excellent, the critics claim, saying it is a film best experienced on a big screen for maximum impact.

Starring Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay playing the soldiers on the near-impossible mission with Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Mark Strong as supporting players, the movie is photographed by the incomparable Roger Deakins whose cinematography enhances the claustrophobic and tense feeling of the film.

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Design and Cinematography

Taking inspiration from Christopher Nolan's 2017 film 'Dunkirk', Mendez has crafted a war film that leaves one at the edge of their seats' meanwhile captivating the viewer with top-notch camera work.

The most impressive aspect of the film is the 'long-take' shots which give a sense of continuity to the film while inducing the anxiety that the characters going through. Mendez's second foray into war films after 2005's Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Fox starring, 'Jarhead' which has garnered a cult following in the years since, it seems, he has struck gold with '1917'.

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Deakins who has worked with Mendez on the James Bond films imbues the film with tangible tension that increases with the passage of time while choreographing one-take scenes that are jaw-dropping. The duo is successful in creating sequences of war that feel genuine while telling a contained story.

Many critics have already placed the film high on their best films of the year list and come award season, it is bound to be a favorite. Be sure to catch the film distributed by Universal Pictures releasing on 25th December in the USA and 17th January in India.