7 out of 10
Released: 10th December 2010
Director: Brian Welsh
Cast: Joanne Froggatt, Mel Raido, Andrew Knott, Chloe-Jayne Atkinson & John Henshaw
Writer: Brian Welsh
Trailer: IN OUR NAME
This little seen movie about the mental fallout of a female British soldier is certianly worth a look for an extremely impressive performance by Joanne Froggatt (TV’s DOWNTON ABBEY). Returning back to her husband and daughter in Middlesborough, she finds adjusting back to life on civvie street difficult. First of all her simplisticly drawn but all to realistic husband (Mel Raido – CLUBBED) can’t understand her lack of interest in sex and her increasing obsession in keeping their daughter safe from harm. The husband’s lack of understanding spirals into violence and a very different but more familiar type of disturbia. The root source of the mother’s escalating paranoia becomes apparent as she alternately cracks and tries to hold onto her sanity. Finding no support within her family, the only sympathetic character, a fellow soldier on the same tour (Andrew Knott – THE HISTORY BOYS) is chased off by the jealous husband. Her bid for safety is uncompromising and takes this film to unusual areas.
A memorable film that is one of the first British films to tackle post traumatic stress issues brought about by active service as a soldier. Soldiers are brought home from Iraq and Afghanistan gradually over a period of weeks as to decompress from front line duty. Slow boats home and a few weeks at camps help the majority to make the adjustment. However, some of the sights and incidents will stay with you for longer and maybe have life changing effects on the psyche. This has been explored many times in American cinema, but a home grown movie sets this nearer the bone. To get its messages across the characters here have been painted very black and white. They don’t trust Muslims and have violent clashes with a local taxi firm. The average viewer would like to imagine that this has been put here for shock value but I’m very sad to report that these characters, as mono-syllabic and unhinged as they are portrayed in the most extreme of cases are very realistic. A film about a sane family of soldiers probably wouldn’t get seen.
In Our Name won’t be to everyones taste, it could be argued that the characters are cliches and that its stance is an anti-military one. You decide. It’s very well acted and I hope to see Joanne Froggatt in more lead film roles in the future. She is well supported by Mel Raido and Andrew Knott as very contrasting soldiers. The film is lensed well and the ambient score effective but unobtrusive. It runs along at a clip and has a very short running time.
A challenging but never boring British film about our brave men and women in conflict. It’s not been shaded to keep the liberals happy. It draws lines, where you stand will inform your view of the continuing fights abroad.
Recommended if you can find the DVD.
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE:
- Joanne Frogatt: Still Life, Filth, Uwantme2killhim?, Downton Abbey (TV), Miranda, Coronation Street (TV)
- Mel Raido: Clubbed, Long Time Dead
- Andrew Knott: Spike Island, The History Boys, Black Beauty (1994), The Secret Garden
- John Henshaw: The Angel’s Share, Someone Else, Looking For Eric, Starter For 10, Born & Bred (TV)