1917 isn’t a complex film. It’s a simple film about a day—or a couple of hours—into the lives of two young, insignificant British soldiers. But its simplicity is what makes the film so good. The film doesn’t try to impress its audience. It doesn’t use a hyper-stylized filter to make the setting bleaker, and it doesn’t make its two heroes braver than they really are.
A 103 years ago in 1917, the world’s biggest heroes had been away from their mothers and sisters and their wives and daughters for 3 years. They were men, young and old, who walked away from their families and walked into foreign lands to fight for their kings and countries, neighbours and families.
Over 42 million men fought in World War 1 for the Allied Powers., and by 1917, over 4 million of them had already died. And by the end of the war in 1918, two 2 million more allied soldiers were killed.
1917 was the pivotal year in world war 1. That year, Russia’s military losses and poor economy during the war made them vulnerable to the Russian Revolution, and they pulled out of the war. And if America hadn’t declared war on Germany that year, the Central Powers may have defeated the Allied powers and won the war.
But the film 1917 isn’t about revolutions and declarations of war. It isn’t about how significant nations affected the war in 1917. No, it’s about how two young, insignificant men affected the war in 1917.