to the screenplay to English languages. it tell about the powerful story showing to Captain Sam Cahill and younger brother Tommy Cahill, who are polar opposites. When his Black Hawk helicopter is shot down in the mountains Sam is presumed dead and the Cahill family suddenly faces a shocking void. A young man comforts his older brother's wife and children after he goes missing in Afghanistan.
showing the with different aspect of war after the fighting has war end. show the mental health which some the solider
Solid citizen, devoted family man and career solder, Sam Cahill (Tobey Maguire) is about to embark on his latest mission to Afghanistan. His diametrically opposed brother; the black sheep recently released from jail, Tommy Cahill (Jake Gyllenhaal), is seemingly determined to become a career criminal.
A permanent thorn in his ex-military fathers Hank (Sam Shepherd's) side, Tommy is nothing short of unwanted at a combined welcome home and farewell family meal. Unable to celebrate in harmony, Tommy is jibed relentlessly his vitriolic father "try mimicking your brother for a change?" "You're brother's a hero ... what do you do?"
Promising to return home to his loving childhood sweetheart wife, Grace (Natalie Portman), Sam encourages Tommy to pursue a better life. Inadvertently perpetuating Tommy's behavior, his relationships with both his father and Grace deteriorate further.
When news arrives that Sam is missing-in-action and presumed dead, however, Grace and Tommy mourn his loss by forming an unlikely friendship. Tommy finding a psychological liberation begins to redeem himself. Finding purpose and direction by rebuilding Grace's collapsing kitchen, and taking on a role as protector and male fixture in her children's Maggie and Isabelle (Taylor Geare and Bailee Madison) life.
Drawn ever closer to Grace, a more than a platonic friendship develops. However, when Sam turns up alive and is mentally damaged from the tortures endured during his extended PoW capture, he registers the sexual tension between Grace and Tommy. Sam's posttraumatic stress and paranoia lead a complete break down, descending the situation into raw emotional chaos.
Although the overly saturated and hyper current topic may deter some viewers, there is an edge this film has over its war movie rivals. Crafted and infused with realism, agonizing moral dilemmas and family resentment, it resonates past the battlefield.
Taking liberties and editing some of the tension and grunt of its original source material, David Benioff's screenplay is a little too slick and clean obviously attempting to make it more palatable but sadly letting the film down.
Unclear of its demographic, it is paced slowly for the mature viewer but angled towards the younger demographic by its casting and the ever present feeling of Hollywood's war propaganda machine.
The extremely strong performances are what make this film enjoyable. Gyllenhaal is vulnerable yet commanding as Tommy, Portman is correctly balanced, emotional without being hysterical, and Shepherd is brittle yet dignified. Both child actors Geare and Madison were simply sensational and gave the film its needed heart.
Maguire's deliberately stiff and twitchy Sam sadly suffers greatly from Benioff's editing. With little time initially to adequately endear audiences, his performance as a fractured character is lackluster. Sam/Maguire's tormented crescendo is dreadfully anticlimactic in comparison to some of the powerful and poignant scenes delivered by Portman and Gyllenhaal.
The Verdict: The idea that "There are two sides to every family" is clearly defined. Two brothers. Two personalities. Two lives. Two hearts. Two minds is what resonates when reviewing this film; was it enjoyable or just watchable?
Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 26/03/2010
There were some solid messages here and there about family and post war mentality, but not good enough to cover the flaws in this movie.