In Our Name (15)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarStarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner09/12/2010

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 93 mins

Emotionally engaging, frequently tense British drama with a superb central performance from Joanne Froggatt and a strong script that takes a bleak and disturbing look at a serious issue.

What's it all about?
Directed by Brian Welsh and set in North East England, In Our Name stars Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey) as Suzy, a soldier who comes home to her husband Mark (Mel Raido) and her daughter Cass (Jayne Wilkinson) after a tour of duty in Iraq. On returning, Suzy finds it increasingly difficult to adjust back to family life: she's unable to sleep, her daughter won't talk to her and her sexually frustrated husband (also an ex-soldier) begins to suspect that she's had a fling with fellow soldier Paul (Andrew Knott) after she repeatedly rejects his advances.

The Good
Joanne Froggatt is excellent as Suzy, conveying exactly the right mix of tight-lipped toughness and heartbreaking vulnerability, while Mel Raido is equally good as her volatile husband (the scene where he talks to a Muslim taxi driver is extremely well acted and directed). There is also strong support from Knott, and young Jayne Wilkinson is superb as Cass, delivering a remarkably assured, understated and thoroughly believable performance.

The sharply observed script explores some highly topical issues (an end credits caption dedicates the film to “the thousands of servicemen and women who have been incarcerated in British prisons after attempting to return to civilian life”) and raises some important questions, particularly in the office scene, where it's clear that Suzy is understating the seriousness of her Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) because she doesn't want to affect her chances of promotion. The script also deserves praise for not spelling everything out – there's an upsetting scene where Suzy tells a group of schoolchildren about the worst thing she saw in Iraq but we're left to fill in the gaps for ourselves in terms of what happened next.

The Great
Welsh expertly builds tension throughout the film so that you're constantly braced for an explosion of violence, whether between Suzy and Mark, Mark and Paul or Suzy and a group of local youths. Importantly, the film doesn't shy away from either darkness or complexity – there's a disturbing moment towards the end of the film that plays out in an unexpected and challenging way that leaves the audience with plenty to think about.

Worth seeing?
In Our Name is an impressively directed, thought-provoking and emotionally engaging drama with a strong script and a superb performance from Joanne Froggatt. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

In Our Name (15)
Be the first to review In Our Name...
image
01 Focus (15)

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro

image
02 Selma (12A)

David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth

image
03 Far from the Madding Crowd (tbc)

Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge, Matthias Schoenaert...

image
04 Chappie (tbc)

Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley

image
05 A Most Violent Year (15)

Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo

Content updated: 18/10/2017 21:15

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Foxcatcher (15)

Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum star in this real life inspired story of Olympic talent, fierce competition and murder.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films