Thank You For Your Service


Nellely Azpetia and Celeste Chavez

   War. It is often glorified, overly romantic, or very fictitious. It is a difficult topic to explain to someone not directly affected or familiar with military life, which makes it even harder to reach the audience. Despite the cheesy title, the film “Thank You For Your Service” did slightly more than justice to the demanding subject of war.

   As the movie begins, the main character, Sergeant Adam Schumann (played by Miles Teller, who you may remember from the Divergent series) along with his fellow soldiers Tausolo Aeiti, Will Waller and Michael Emory, must try to reintegrate themselves into society after coming back from the war in Iraq circa 2007. Even though these soldiers deal with traumatic brain injuries, PTSD, and lingering memories from the battlefield, the number of war scenes was minimal but they felt legitimate and effectual. Instead of overwhelming the viewers with countless battlefield scenes, director Jason Hall strategically uses suspense and symbolism to tie together the story. The cinematography was standard and mediocre. Artistically, there were no bold statements made which gave this film a “just another military movie” feel. What Jason Hall lacked to include visually, he made up for emotionally. The characters of Sergeant Adam and his comrades shine an intense light on the realities of a veteran’s pain and struggles. The audience is quickly exposed to appalling events (including suicide and drug use) in such a raw manner that its authenticity moves the viewers to tears. The characters and events are easy to grasp because of the reality of their situations: depression, suicidal thoughts, and violent outbursts all play a role in the film. A dark light is shed on the flaws within the United States Department of Veteran Affairs and society as a whole dealing with veterans. Instead of overly romanticizing war, this film makes a powerful attempt to reveal the point of view that is often unspoken or unheard: the shattered veteran who is left with no help or attention.

   Even there are few intense battle scenes, the development of each individual soldier’s story makes this film a well-built piece of work that feels genuine. The movie feels understated, but it does not leave one disappointed. It rather leaves one with a profound feeling in their mind. It is commendable movie but nothing out of the ordinary.