In Our Name (15)
Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue Dec 7 2010This is a promising second film by National Film and Television School graduate Brian Welsh, who directs his own script about Suzy (Joanne Froggatt, recently in ‘Downton Abbey’), a private in the British Army who returns to a rundown estate in Newcastle after a stint in Iraq and finds it tough to reconnect with her daughter (Chloe Jayne Wilkinson) and squaddie husband. It doesn’t help that the husband, Mark (Mel Raido), is a hot-head with his own battle scars who believes his wife is unfaithful. As each tries to pretend all is well in their heads, their nerves become so frayed that even the smallest crisis threatens their sanity and the safety of those around them.
The unfussy shooting style, the casting of actors both familiar from television and unknown and, of course, the dramatisation of a hot-button social issue all recall the films of Ken Loach. (Coincidentally, Loach’s ‘Route Irish’, opening in March, also deals with post-combat stress and rams home the legacy of war.) Raido is a little too shouty and demonstrative at times, but his character’s confused anger and jealousy are real enough, while Froggatt is the star, powerfully burying her pain and releasing it in short, strange bursts. Welsh offers a series of tense scenes – a classroom showdown between Suzy and kids who want to hear war stories; a cab ride with a British Pakistani driver; a tense chat between Mark and Suzy’s colleague Paul (Andrew Knott) – and proves himself a name to watch.
Author: Dave Calhoun