LFF Review: In Our Name
Review by Jack Foley
IRAQ and its fallout remains a pretty fertile hunting ground for filmmakers looking to examine the still provocative subject matter.
Brian Welsh’s In Our Name is notable for telling it’s story from the point of view of a woman: in this case a British soldier returning home from a hearts and minds mission, who struggles to reintegrate into society as a wife and mother after being affected by the things she has seen on duty.
As such, it provides another fantastic showcase of the talents of leading lady Joanne Froggatt, who builds on the excellent work she has recently done in TV dramas such as See No Evil, Hear No Evil: The Moors Murders and Downton Abbey.
As Suzy, Froggatt wears the look of a haunted, even broken woman; a shadow of her former self who is losing grip on everyday reality and who remains oblivious to the similar trauma being experienced by her unstable husband (played with typical by Mel ‘He Kills Coppers‘ Raido).
She is a riveting presence whose loneliness, paranoia, guilt and uncertainty provokes genuine questions about the support (or lack thereof) available for veterans in real life, while simultaneously tapping into a sensitivity that endears her to you through her touching scenes with her daughter (nicely played by Chloe-Jayne Wilkinson).
But while she remains the compelling reason for seeing the film, Welsh’s debut feature isn’t without problems of it’s own.
While certainly provocative, it leans towards the overblown at times with one too many like-minded characters. It’s depiction of broken Britain is also overdone, hinting at threats and flashpoints around every corner and feeling like it’s attempting to pack in too much drama into one short film.
A little more focus would have gone a long way and Froggatt certainly proves herself capable and interesting enough to be the centre of attention.
Taken as a whole, therefore, In Our Name is a noble attempt to shed light on a complex issue that could have benefited from a more discreet touch. As things stand, Welsh throws a little too much at viewers and renders his film overbearing and occasionally misguided as a result.
But it does still raise some relevant issues and is worth checking out for the power of Froggatt’s performance.
Running time: 90mins