A soldier (Tony Streeter) comes home from the military and has a hard time adjusting to his first night alone with his wife (Katie Reddin-Clancy) in this short film from writer/director David Broyles. I must admit that the subject matter is handled honestly, but it ultimately does a disservice to the viewer.
I knew a guy who came back from Iraq and said the hardest thing to get used to wasn’t the fact that he no longer had to be constantly aware that someone wasn’t trying to kill him. It was getting used to the idea that the people around him never even entertained the notion that they could die any minute. They lived their lives as if nothing was happening — no snipers were atop buildings, and a trip to the store wasn’t spent with one’s stomach in knots waiting for an explosion.
“Winding down and getting adjusted to normal life is the hardest part,” he said, “and I don’t think you ever really do.” The soldier in this movie may be having similar concerns, though it’s hard to get that in just under ten minutes, and that’s where the fault lies.
If you have never talked to someone who has been in an intense war situation, you’ll never quite know why they are reacting to things the way they do. This film, which is based on the writer’s real-life experiences, doesn’t go out of its way to explain any of that, either. When the soldier reaches a decision, most viewers will be forced to draw their own conclusions as to why he says what he does, and while that can benefit some situations, it really doesn’t work here. Viewers would be better off knowing the reasoning and going from there. It would’ve been more emotional, and it probably would’ve packed a bigger punch. I’ve got my own ideas, but that’s only because I know how some of those soldiers feel. Anyone who doesn’t will have to wing it, and that’s no way to end a movie dealing with this sort of subject.