Thank You For your Service Movie Review

Nov 24, 2017, 08:01 IST | Johnson Thomas

David Finker's book about repercussions of war that we all would like to ignore and forget, basically inspires this film that hits you in the face with trauma (PTSD) three returning combat veterans have to face while adjusting to living a normal life

'Thank You For Your Service'
A; War/Drama
Director: Jason Hall

Cast: Miles Teller, Haley Bennett, Joe Cole, Amy Schumer, Beulah Koale, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Brad Beyer, Scott Haze, Omar J. Dorsey, Kate Lyn Sheil
Rating: 

David Finker's book about the repercussions of war that we all would like to ignore and forget, basically inspires this film that hits you in the face with the trauma (PTSD) three returning combat veterans (from the minefields of Iraq) have to face while adjusting to living a normal life when they have lost all connect with the 'real' world as we so-called normal folks know it. Adam Schumann (Miles Teller), always willing to shoulder other peoples' burdens, Tausolo Aieti (Beulah Koale), an American Samoan who credits the military with saving his life, and Will Waller (Joe Cole), who returns home to find that his fiancee has left him and taken their daughter with her, are the three central to this telling. The topic is not new to cinema though.

'Thank You For your Service'
A still from 'Thank You For Your Service'

William Wyler has already dealt with the issue in his 1946 Oscar-winning The Best Years of Our Lives - where three World War II vets are unable to adjust to civilian life after returning from battle. In that film PTSD was not alluded to as it was still an unknown then. In this Spielberg produced film PTSD is given full responsibility and voice. The telling point here though, is that despite being able to diagnose the problem and having a treatment in place there are not enough resources, in America, to take care of the large number of veterans affected by it.

There's no melodrama here-just bald hurtful fact. The three veterans have returned to a hero's welcome but their lives thereafter are fractured by hallucinations and rage that leave them shattered, unable to cope. Director Jason Hall keeps the narrative bare and unobtrusive. It feels as though we, the audience, are observers looking in on the three. It's both intimate and traumatic and leaves you with an insight into vulnerability that is humanising. The film doesn't make any 'noise' about the war or the political ramifications of it's fallout. Instead, what we get is an entirely psychological appraisal of the three and their methods of adapting to the system that has failed them. The anger is felt not heard. It's ironic that universally( across all nations) the soldier is treated as a prop controlled by unfeeling power hungry politicians and forgotten quickly enough when they become redundant to the cause. Does this happen only in America? You would know otherwise if you keep abreast of how soldiers all across the globe are struggling for benefits, running from pillar to post and to little avail. It's a shocking revelation - one that has the power to haunt and reverberate in the recesses of your mind for a long time!

Watch 'Thank You For your Service' Trailer

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