Military film isn’t Saving Private Ryan

The Messenger’ is a movie about soldiers, but it doesn’t take place on the battlefield. In a typical war movie, when a soldier dies, there is an epic tragedy in his or her death; instead, ‘The Messenger’ shows how disturbingly routine military death can be. ‘The Messenger’ is a different kind of war movie than most, depicting soldiers’ experiences after they return home – or how their families feel if they don’t. One of the film’s producers, Lawrence Inglee, is from Burlington. Inglee oversaw the film’s story development and production, the film’s website stated. ‘The Messenger’s’ grit comes not from soldiers shooting out of a muddy trench, but from the difficulty for even the most successful soldiers to return to civilian life – not to mention the alternative of not returning at all. The film confronts how one man, Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery, copes with the harrowing task of delivering combat death notices. Upon returning from duty, Sergeant Montgomery and Captain Tony Stone – who trains him in casualty notification – must not only attempt to assimilate back to civilian life, but to also keep their own lives together as they deliver news that destroys others’. Montgomery survived the war as a hero, but is still faced with a harsh reality back at home. This juxtaposition makes a strong statement contradicting the often-glamorized portrayal of war. Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson deliver strong, haunting performances, as Montgomery and Stone, respectively. There are cringe-worthy moments of ‘The Messenger’ that are almost too upsetting to watch, but they develop the film’s impact. The film’s blunt tone makes it seem realistic and the emotions of the characters make ‘The Messenger’ a memorable, affecting film. ‘The Messenger’ received a Golden Globe nomination, in addition to a number of other award nominations and festival honors. The film is currently showing at Palace 9 Cinemas in South Burlington. ‘