THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE (NETFLIX) (2017)
SYNOPSIS: DreamWorks Pictures’ Thank You for Your Service follows a group of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq who struggle to integrate back into family and civilian life, while living with the memory of a war that threatens to destroy them long after they’ve left the battlefield.
Thank You For Your Service paints a depressing picture of army veterans who returned home to fight their own wars against PTSD and how their families cope with them. It’s a grim powerful drama in the vein of American Sniperand The Hurt Locker except it has much fewer harrowing war action sequences.
The story follows three returning veterans, first being Adam (Miles Teller) who is coming back home after his third deployment to his beautiful wife, Saskia (Haley Bennet) and two young kids but is unable to shake off the pressuring thoughts of his hemiplegic platoon mate, Emory and the death of his Sergeant Doster who stood in for Adam on the day of the tragic mission.
His fellow teammate, Solo (Beulah Koale) also suffers from severe PTSD, memory loss and violent outbursts as he tries to get himself re-enlist for another deployment to the dismay of his pregnant wife while Billy (Joe Cole) goes home only to find his fiancée and daughter has cleared the house and left him.
There’re clearly no happy developments as we follow these three veterans as they returned to civilian lives. Despite being back in the safest place and surrounded by the people they loved, these three individuals still find themselves emotionally challenged and mentally tortured by the events during their deployment. It’s almost painful to watch as we slowly witnessed each one of their lives spiraling down.
Perhaps this is the main motive of this Jason Hall’s movie. The actor turned writer and director whose credits include American Sniperand Paranoia is perhaps sending a serious message to Congress and the public not to leave this bunch of men and women behind as the department for war veterans seem to be running on a tight budget to cater to the wounded personnel.
Given his stellar presence in the underrated drama, Only The Brave, Miles Teller, one of this generation fine young actors deliver yet another electrifying performance as the battle scared soldier. Surprisingly, it’s the usually demure Haley Bennet (Music & Lyrics) who shines as Teller’s onscreen wife and comedian Amy Schumer (I Am Pretty) appears in a very small dramatic role as the wife of the late Doster.
Thank You For Your Service is not the first and definitely not the last drama on PTSD. Does it say anything fresh or shed any new light on the subject at the end of it? I’m afraid it didn’t. However, it’s still a decent, well-acted drama that once again remind the people that peace comes with a price and medals simply are not sufficient to compensate for the pain and sufferings borne by the army veterans.
Review by Linus Tee