Officers is a movie about two friends’ love for their motherland, for life itself, and, of course, for a woman. Through the lifelong friendship of these two Red Army officers, Yumatov (Georgiy Yumatov) and Lanovoy (Vasili Lanovoy), we get to see this, their famous motto in action:
“There is such a profession – to defend the homeland!”
«Есть такая профессия − Родину защищать!»
This motto echoes throughout the events of the film: Central Asia during the Russian Civil War, Spain during the Spanish Civil War, China during WWII, and, naturally, the horrific Eastern Front.
Now, this motto could appear as a bit chauvinistic to many. It does sound a bit Hollywood and is admittedly particularly popular with teenage boys. However, it’s really a beautifully simple way of capturing a historical truth. That is, that there is no Russian family that has not lived similar experiences to those of the characters in Officers.
The events of history depicted are not the glamorous, gun-filled international gallivanting many war movies put on. Rather, in this movie you’ll find pain, fear, horror, love, and friendship. At the core of the plot is the almost Jules et Jim-style relationship between Yumatov, Lanovoy, and their mutual romantic interest, Lyubov (Alina Pokrovskaya). When Lyubov chooses one of them, the other respects the decision and turns into a friend of the family for them. The devotion between these three defines the movie and gives comfort to a Soviet movie-going audience who was still reeling with the aftereffects of WWII.