The highest grossing Russian film of all time replays one of the bloodiest chapters of the Second World War through the eyes of German and Soviet soldiers involved.
Stalingrad is the first project of its kind shot using IMAX 3D technology and Fedor Bondarchuk’s epic certainly looks spectacular in the eye-popping format.
Ash flutters down over the embattled city, bullets whizz out of the screen and several pivotal action sequences are breathlessly choreographed to take full advantage of depths in perception.
Audiences get plenty of bang for their buck despite a running time that exceeds two hours.
Scriptwriters Sergey Snezhkin and Ilya Tilkin choose a clumsy framing device: the efforts of a Russian crew to rescue five German teenagers from the rubble of the 2011 earthquake in Tohuku, Japan.
Stalingrad is an unapologetically patriotic spin on history that papers over the cracks of a lightweight script with stunning visuals, stirring performances and a heart-tugging score.
Bondarchuk’s directorial brio holds our interest rather aided by an ensemble cast, who hunker down for the film’s big set pieces.