Sam Mendes’s World War I epic “1917” captures the gripping nature of combat and realistically depicts the war through the eyes of soldiers of different ranks. The film is centered around two young infantrymen, Lance Corporals William Schofield (George McKay) and Thomas Blake (George MacKay). In the film, Schofield and Blake are assigned a critical mission to go behind enemy lines by their superior officer, General Erinmore (Colin Firth). They soon discover that a secret German invasion could potentially devastate half of the British Army and cripple the war effort. In order to prevent the loss of life, the pair must deliver the message to Lieutenant Colonel Mackenzie (Benedict Cumberbatch).
Reaching Mackenzie is the goal of their mission, and Cumberbatch’s appearance during the film’s most exciting sequence immediately establishes the gravity of the situation. Mackenzie is a long-time commanding officer who wants to see a quick resolution to the conflict, and Cumberbatch perfectly embodies the spirit of the character. Still, he is skeptical of Schofield’s insistence that he must halt his assault. However, when he realizes what the Germans are planning, he immediately begins to fix the situation and change his frontline strategy.