At the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers.
Tasked with crossing dangerous terrain in a day to deliver a warning, Blake and Schofield begin their mission, working their way through seemingly empty trenches, tunnels, and bombed-out towns with no one but each other to rely on.
Along the way, dangers appear with regularity, pitting the soldiers against what remains of German forces, who won’t hesitate to kill the men, stopping them from preventing a colossal disaster and, for Blake, an unthinkable loss of life.
There’s a ticking clock that drives the action of “1917.” The picture commences with Blake and Schofield receiving special information concerning German plans to ambush the British battalion, ordered to race against time and share the horrific news with their contact on the other side.
While military urgency inspires the journey, for Blake, protection of his brother (and, by extension, his mother), is the prime reason to focus on results, though he remains anxious about the dangers ahead.
Co-scripted by Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns, “1917” works through expositional needs during the first act, as there’s plenty of travel time for the young men, who march into the unknown on foot, trying to remain out of sight. There’s tension between the pair, but also a sense of purpose, in possession of information that could save an enormous amount of lives.