Movie review: Thank you for your service

 

VICTORS OR VICTIMS? Awaiting their interviews to claim war veterans benefits having been discharged from the US Army following a tour of Iraq, Adam Schumann, played by Miles Teller, left, and Solo Aeiti, played by Beulah Koale, discuss what awaits them in civilian life in the post-war drama, ‘Thank you for your service’, now showing at Rosehill Cinema

How the US troops felt after returning from war

Thank you for your service, with Haley Bennett, Miles Teller and Joe Cole, directed by Jason Hall.

3.5/5

IF you are anticipating a good war drama then this is not the right movie for you.

Although there are flashbacks to an ambush in Iraq that effectively shaped the lives of those in the movie, it attempts to show the absolute devastation that war can cause on the minds of the soldiers who return home.

It is well acted and the storyline is good. It is not a light-hearted film, but follows the true-life story of four soldiers and their families, all having to cope with the mental effects of prolonged combat during the Iraq war.

Moreover, it is the story of how so many mentally and physically injured war veterans are handled after returning from war, and how they fit in (or don’t) in society when their war is over.

The ensemble cast is headed by Miles Teller as Adam Schumann and Haley Bennett who plays Saskia, his wife.

It’s a bit of a boys club as the soldiers return to their families on a bus with the type of banter one would expect from soldiers. However, things sober up as they find that life has gone on without them while they have been away.

Billy Waller (Joe Cole) has a problem in that his fiancé has left him and taken all the money they had saved, leaving him with nothing. Schumann and Solo (a Samoan naturalised American played by Beulah Koale) take him for drinks and then Schumann brings him home and informs him the couch is his and he can stay for as long as it takes him to get back on his feet. This is a big thing as we find that Teller, his wife and two children have had to move out of their own home which they now rent out in order to cover the mortgage, and have moved much smaller home.

Waller goes to his former fiancé’s place of work and, after she confirms their relationship is over he takes out his service pistol and shoots himself in the head right in front of her.

It appears that Schumann is doing well, but that is only on the surface. His mind keeps on reliving the day he made the convoy he was leading take a different route and they were attacked and his friend and fellow sergeant, Michael Adam Emory (Scott Haze), was shot in the head, and now has a severe brain injury.

Claiming veteran benefits also proves to be a rigmarole and the men are left having to fend for themselves. At one point Schumann is told that there are 32 000 veterans just in that area, and that receiving benefits could take nine months before a payout would be received.

Will there be any relief for those war veterans who have returned? You will have to watch Thank you for your service to find out.

Leave a Reply