A troubled Iraq War veteran struggling to reintegrate into society sets out on a cross-country journey with the hope of reuniting with his young son.A troubled Iraq War veteran struggling to reintegrate into society sets out on a cross-country journey with the hope of reuniting with his young son.A troubled Iraq War veteran struggling to reintegrate into society sets out on a cross-country journey with the hope of reuniting with his young son.
Philip J. Shortell
- (as Philip Shortell)
Until we all make it home...
First, I have always been a fan of Max's work. He's just one of those "dudes" that military guys can immediately associate with. It's one of those "he gets us". I was messaging with Max a few weeks ago, and less than 8 hours later I bumped into him in San Antonio. He was gracious and appreciative of my service. He told me when the film was coming out, we took a picture and parted ways. Now to the film. It started off perfectly, a Soldier on the beach reflecting, alone, not necessarily lonely, but alone with his thoughts and his ghosts. We've all been there. We meet Will at his lowest yet see that his humanity remains intact though he's clearly torn apart inside from his time "over there". We are given the opportunity to journey with him as he rides with his "ghosts" as he meets new people and reconnects with his humanity. Gary Sinise's scene was just incredible, such simple dialogue yet the connection between them and the gentle kindness of brother warriors was just fantastic. The conversations he has with "Top" are awesome, though we see Top it's really Will talking to his conscious, and that's powerful. The interactions with his son are what really stood out to me it's these kinds of interactions I have with my daughter that pull me out of those dark places we go, and to see this expressed on film when Max literally changes from dark and introspective to alive and full of boundless energy to just spend time with his son. It's charming and it resonates authenticity. Lilly Rabe was hilarious, she lightens the mood in all the right places and at the right times. Great writing and simple camera work. Before we realized that Top was a ghost, we see them talk to the old Nam vet and this scene really is wonderful in its simplicity. Will talks to the Nam vet as a fellow warrior and human he "squares away" his Boonie cap and gently places it back on his head. As the Nam vet walks away you can almost feel the pride swell in his chest as we see him stand a little more erect as he walks off and tosses his sign aside. Every vet in this generation has scars, we are only alone if we chose to be. This film shows us even if we are alone, we can find each other in the strangest places. When Will gave him the badge, a man with literally nothing to give it was a beautiful moment in the film. Watching him say goodbye to his ex-wife and son was gut wrenching, far too many of us have had to let go to what we once held onto the hardest what I appreciate most in the film, is that not everyone will get it and that's ok. To those that do don't despair. We remain... "Some make it back, but never make it home." I hope this film helps you if you need it, you aren't alone. Thanks Max...
- Jan 14, 2019
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