1917 made serious waves when it was released in 2019. It was an epic war movie about two young soldiers who had no choice but to cross no-man’s-land during WW1 and deliver a vital message that would save thousands of troops’ lives. What made it all the more interesting was that director, Sam Mendes, wanted to make the whole thing look like it had been shot in one seamless take. Safe to say, 1917 will be remembered by cinephiles for a long time and delivered one of the best films of that year.
It was initially released in August 2021, but in January 2022 Philip Barantini’s Boiling Point was made widely available for the first time on Netflix and it’s still there for you to watch right now. It’s the best film to have been released this year, and just like 1917 it is an extraordinary film. Unlike 1917 though, Boiling Point was actually filmed in one immense, immeasurably intense take. This isn’t to take anything away from 1917, but Boiling Point doesn’t use smart edits to trick us. Boiling Point is the real deal.
Where 1917 is unquestionably ‘epic’ in its scope and scale, Boiling Point is an intimate and unyielding look into the day-to-day life of Head Chef Andy Jones (Stephen Graham) and his team. We’re placed alongside them in their kitchen on what happens to be the busiest night of the year at one of the most well-renowned restaurants in London. But an array of personal and professional issues start to mount over the course of 90 minutes, plaguing their service and threatening to destroy everything Andy has been working for.
Boiling Point manages to capture a sense of stress and anxiety from every fibre of its being in a way that is hard to gauge on film. But this is balanced with a mounting sense of excitement. It’s fast and fragmented in a way that wraps you up into what’s going on and has you desperate to find out what can possibly go wrong next.
It’s anxiety-inducing stuff held together with honest performances from some of the best British talent working today. They make that kitchen feel lived in, not for a second letting us believe that they aren’t putting their blood, sweat and tears into that place. Every character and every situation they’re put under feels real – as though Boiling Point is a microscopic view into the world of a pressurised kitchen with a whole host of different dynamics working at once, ready to burst at any moment.
But it’s a really simple film. It shines because of both that very simplicity combined with an ability to place you right in the middle of everything, not letting you step away for one second until it’s all over. This is only made possible because every element works within one single take, what can only have been some of the most complex blocking and choreography for the entire production team. Watching Boiling Point is a highly worthwhile endeavour because of it.
Boiling Point is now available to stream on Netflix