Saturday, June 20, 2009

In the Valley of Elah (2007)

Netflix: When exemplary soldier Mike Deerfield (Jonathan Tucker) goes missing after returning from Iraq, his concerned parents, Hank (Tommy Lee Jones, in an Oscar-nominated role) -- a career officer -- and Joan (Susan Sarandon), hire crack police Detective Emily Sanders (Charlize Theron) to investigate. Director Paul Haggis based the script on actual events reported in Mark Boal's Playboy magazine article. 2007, 121 minutes

From Kay Steiger's Review in The American Prospect: "What’s peaking though the fairly transparent plot is the costs of sending soldiers to war -- encouraging them to torture and kill terrorists (or suspected terrorists) -- and returning them home unable to continue with normal lives. A side plot of the film has a woman ahead of Deerfield at the police station there to report her husband's (another recently returned Iraq vet) violent drowning of the family's Doberman Pincher in the bathtub in front of their son. Later in the film he is arrested for drowning his wife, who Theron's character had sent home without helping.

The movie clearly depicts post traumatic stress disorder. But what makes In the Valley of Elah portrayal valuable is that it depicts the strain of PTSD on families and communities as well." Trailer

DJE: A powerful, riveting, memorable movie. With time, it seems even more true than when it was released.

No comments: