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The Best Indie Brit Film in a Long Time,
This review is from: In Our Name [DVD] (DVD)
I'd recorded this from Sky Movies Premier, where it sat in the graveyard shift, onto my provider's box. Normally I watch such films whilst doing computer work.
After only a few minutes I'd surrendered to the film. It had grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go. It looked serious, as was its subject matter and the acting being of a seriously high standard too.
We've all seen The Fourth of July and many of the others that attempt to spotlight the after scars of war. Supremo Brit, now Hollywood, director Paul Greengrass made his first feature 'Resurrected' in 1989 starring David Thewlis and was about a British soldier dealing with his demons around the time of the Falklands conflict. Never heard of it? It remains as well known as this one currently does (hardly at all).
The equivalent here is a young female soldier just come back from Iraq and who had witnessed an innocent Iraqi child get killed. The same age roughly as her own little girl and unavoidably, as the flashbacks show, the parallels are obvious. Her partner, an aggressive, paranoid and volatile soldier, also having seen action in Iraq and father of their little girl, gives Suzy (an excellent and film, but not TV, newcomer) Joanne Froggatt a REALLY hard time. Not just coping with local thieves but they also with the well - and not so well - meaning friends and relatives, who are either stifling, or insensitive.
The cracks start to show; a fellow serviceman Suzy worked alongside with on the front line is threatened by Mark (the partner - an also excellent Mark Raido) when he, after an invitation from Suzy, is found drinking beer at their home and chatting to her when Mark comes back in a foul mood one night.
A run-in with an Islamic taxi driver after a difficult night out sends things into realms of real ugliness and almost over the top repercussions, especially after reprisals go badly wrong. I started to think, where is this film going? Realising that Suzy must get away from her crazed and now dangerous partner, she flees with her daughter, a firearm 'borrowed' from the Regiment - and a tent.
This is powerful stuff, but not excessively so. It is certificate 18 with very realistic, no-holds barred language jettisoned about like bullets. There is no pretence, no let up in the ferocity in its message and thankfully, an ending that is neither cop-out nor contrived quick fix. Plus a sobering statement of actual fact.
First time director Brian Welsh has given us a startling film and like Paul Greengrass many years before him, he will hopefully become a major cinematic force to be reckoned with in the future.