THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE – 8 ½
In a word: revealing
If you want to know more about PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) victims as related to military service and the pains of war, see this movie.
This is not just a medical diagnosis, it is a somber dilemma for many thousands of American men and women who have witnessed the horrors of fellow soldiers dying in agony, forever embedded in involuntary memory. Or, for those who suffered their own physical trauma.
The movie primarily centers on three friends, young men from the mid-west who had spent multiple tours in Iraq during war time. Each has their own stories, their own demons, and their own frustrations, some of which will stun the audience. These are but a microcosm of the national dilemma. I didn’t realize this was based on a true story with actual characters until the end of the film.
With shocking realism, the movie captures the living hell not only of the battlefield, but of the suffering these soldiers experience at home once the ordeal is thought to be over. Such trauma also creates huge impacts on perplexed spouses, family and friends who are at a loss trying to mend psychological wounds while the soldiers drift more into isolationism.
“They should get help,” some folks say. Well, there’s an old adage: Easier Said Than Done, which this movie brings into perspective. We’ve all followed the political rhetoric about the overload upon VA system and sloughed it off as news bites. This movie brings to light how the many thousands of young men and women are in dire need of help – NOW, but are relegated into queues to wait as long as 9 months before treatment openings arrive.
Actors are superb, though I did not recognize anyone as being “A” level from Hollywood or particularly well-known. The lovely Haley Bennett, who plays the struggling wife of the lead actor, has an impressive list of secondary roles in several movies, including the remake of The Magnificent Seven. Miles Teller, the lead actor, recently starred in the firefighter movie, Only the Brave. Particularly impressive was Buelah Koale, who plays a Samoan American seriously impacted with PTSD.
Dialogue could have stood a bit of improvement. I know I’m old and out of touch from reality, but the sound of every sentence ending with “man” and “dude” as men talk to each other is like hearing the proverbial broken record. But that’s a small thing.
The film is an eye-opener giving audiences a dose reality. Let’s hope our political leaders will set higher priorities and give these veterans the service they deserve.
I give this movie an 8 ½ out of 10.