Thank You for Your Service (2017)
If you look at war films, they are all Hollywoodized all to a certain degree. It's not to say they are bad reflections of the wars but I would go to the History Channel or something along those lines for a more proper story of wars. The post-war and the effects that veterans suffer after the war including PTSD, struggling to find a job and depression has never been done in Hollywood. We see it for the first time in the new war film Thank You for Your Service.
Based off true events, Adam Schumann (Miles Teller) is out in the real world with his partner Tausolo Aieti (Beulah Koale) who are both dealing with the real world events after both being in the Iraq War. Adam is struggling to get a job, has a struggling relationship with his wife Saskia (Haley Bennett) and depression is starting to take over. Tausolo is more of the same who can't get a job, gets involved in the local gangs and has a kid on the way. A film covering what life is like for veterans when the fighting days are over.
With a subject matter that's hard to cover, good casting is in place putting in Teller in a lead role. After another breakout performance in the wildfire film Only the Brave last weekend, Teller works in a role that requires you to believe a character that's depressed and losing it. Even more so, he has high chemistry with Haley Bennett that works and again like similar stoylines of Only the Brave, you want again this couple to succeed. In a breakout role for new actor Beulah Koale, the character is more of an underdog story than Adam who has a similar story to Adam who can't seem to do anything right. The gang story to him has a cheap quality and feels to it but still, it sets the film up for an exciting last third act.
The main issue that lies within Thank You for Your Service is tone. The film is so depressing it makes you wonder as to why you should be sitting through this at times. Due to how depressing it tries to be, it struggles to go anywhere really in the second act with pacing. A film basically throwing sadness down our throats left and right and no end in sight.
With that said and for sad it is, it's as eye-opening about veterans as it gets. You see so many scenes in the Veterans Hospital with such startling information and you seen veterans who can't get jobs. It even gets scarier watching the PTSD affects to the character of Adam who sees the sand from Iraq on normal American streets, seeing war bombs in normal garbage cans and he struggles to hunt seeing Tausolo in the firing range even though he isn't sight. A film not giving the most positive light to the military/veterans but an aspect of being in the military that needs to be seen and said.
A film that I can see connecting to veterans and it can even connect to even somebody like myself who wasn't raised in a military family. It doesn't compare to Teller’s film Only the Brave but Thank You for Your Service works as a different war film. Lackluster and too depressing at times but it gets it's point across.