1917 (2019)

Sam Mendes gives us a tense masterpiece which gives the impression that it is captured in one long shot. Besides pulling off a technical and aesthetic masterpiece, it also serves as a reminder of the horrors of war and how unnecessary it is.

The film is poetry in motion, with crescendos and troughs, it keeps all your senses engaged because you don’t want to miss a thing. The sheer scale and craft will dazzle you, just as the humanity and fear will shake you. Nuanced acting by the principal and supporting cast make it a rich and deep viewing.

You come away from the film not only appreciating the freedoms you enjoy because brave people gave their lives but also contemplate how difficult the conditions were and how quickly you had to move on in grief and loss.

Worthy of all the awards and accolades, this is a bit of world history brought to life from the stories by the director’s grand father Alfred Mendes.

5/5

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Spectre (2015)

A Bored Bond combined with slick Indian censorship results in a series of scenes sewn together for our benefit.

To give director Sam Mendes his due, he has handled the various modes of transport with some remarkable action, but there is no tension.

A lack of adrenaline is precisely what this film suffers from, and it seems Daniel Craig’s apathy towards a character that gave him so much, weakens it further. Bond Girl Lea Seydoux is a combinations of beauty, brains and brawn and puts a little sparkle into the fading Bond.

We miss Judi Dench as ’M’, though Ralph Fiennes does an ok job minus the wit. Monica Bellucci makes a cameo while not so menacing villain Christoph Waltz tries to terrorise but fails.

Ben Whishaw as ‘Q’, Naomie Harris, Andrew Scott provide able support and Dave Bautista leaves an ‘impact’ without saying much.

One of the weaker films and a let down after Skyfall. Points for action and locales, not traditional Bond espionage and spy thrills.

2/5