Back but No Escape
Having served overseas, fighting in Iraq, British soldier Suzy (Joanne Froggatt) returns home to her family a hero. But behind the facade Suzy puts on when she sees her family and neighbours waiting to welcome her home she is a woman changed by what she saw and what she did in Iraq, feeling responsible for the death of an Iraqi child. But rather than things slowly getting better they get worse as Suzy becomes increasingly paranoid and obsessed with her daughters safety until her increasingly strange behaviour puts her daughter at risk.
I have watched a few movies revolving around a soldier trying to fit back in to civilian life after serving in the forces and finding not only the normality of it too hard to deal with but also the memories of what happened during war being a constant nightmare. And that is what "In Our Name" is, another movie about a soldier returning home and finding it increasingly difficult to deal with. But "In Our Name" is about a woman soldier and that gives the movie its USP as this is the first of this type of movie I have seen which focuses on a woman.
Now there is plenty in "In Our Name" which is normal as we watch Suzy's return home and finding it all a struggle but it also has plenty more as we watch her become obsessed with the security of her daughter. From fitting numerous locks to the back gate to having a knife hidden in a tool box to protect herself, writer and director Brian Welsh does a nice job of adding elements to the familiar theme to make it more edgy. But we also see how Suzy's husband struggles with her return as she struggles with being the wife in the bedroom he wants whilst he becomes suspicious of photos of her with another soldier. There is a lot more to this which makes it more than just another movie about PTSD especially as we see Suzy spiral in to a paranoid state extremely quickly.
Now initially I looked at Joanne Froggatt and thought I am going to struggle believing her as Suzy as she didn't initially come across as I would expect a soldier to be. But Froggatt's performance is a real high point as she takes us in to her world of paranoia with eyes which reveal not only a world of pain but a world of fear. You become mesmerised by how she portrays Suzy and within 20 minutes you are fully convinced that you are watching a soldier. In fact whilst one of the problems I have with this movie is it feeling over written with too much long winded dialogue Froggatt manages to make the dialogue work more often than not.
What this all boils down to is that on paper "In Our Name" may look like just another movie dealing with the trauma of war and how it affects a soldier. But this is more as we not only see how it leads to a mother becoming increasingly paranoid but also the knock on effect of her behaviour to those close to her.