In Our Name Movie Review
Suzy (Froggatt) arrives home from Iraq to find her entire family waiting to celebrate. But she just wants to spend some time with her young daughter Cass (Wilkinson), who won't speak with her. Her husband Mark (Raido), naturally, just wants to get to bed. Mark is also a veteran, so he understands her trauma to a degree, but things get increasingly tense over the next days and weeks, as Suzy starts to worry that her family is under attack and Mark grows suspicious that she had a fling with another soldier (Knott).
Writer-director Welsh acutely captures the intensity that grows within this family. The script is minimal and razor sharp, while the film is shot and edited with telling insight into the characters. In some ways, this is a little too orchestrated, as every action seems to require some clear explanation and each conversation pushes the clashing characters further into conflict.
The raise the level of authenticity with extremely dark emotions. Froggatt is believable as both a tough soldier and a fragile young woman. Her conversations with Cass feel extremely truthful, and the slightly contrived scene in which she tells a harrowing frontline story is genuinely unsettling. Opposite her, Raido is very good as the sulking man who takes a lot longer than his wife to erupt. But both characters are such realistic bundles of nerves that we lean back from the screen in anticipation of an explosion between them.
Through all of this, the script maintains a balance between overpowering tension and offhanded moments of humour and tenderness. The emotions are right on the surface, and yet no one will express how they really feel, so as the requirements of the plot kick in things start to get pretty scary. A late shift from gritty drama into full-on Rambo mode threatens to derail the whole film, and Welsh struggles to get it back on track. But he should be commended for highlighting such a serious issue with such bracing honesty.