DVD Review: The Messenger

By Drum Digital
21 September 2010

Rating 4/5

Drama. 2009. 113 min. WithWoody Harrelson

and Ben Foster.

Director: Oren Moverman. 16LSN.

This is not fluffy Saturday afternoon entertainment! It’s a gruelling but rewarding watch that takes a unique look at the impact bad news has, not just on those who receive it but also on the messenger who must deliver it. It’s just as grim and hyper-realistic as The Wrestler.

Captain Tony Stone (Harrelson) has for years been bringing bad news to the next-of-kin of soldiers who died in war. Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery (Foster) is new at it and must still learn how to keep his distance as he delivers his stock phrase and not allow himself to be affected by the recipients’ grief. How is it humanly possible to do this again and again?

Harrelson and Foster are excellent and you get a cold feeling every time they arrive at a front door. How will the people on the other side react? In Harrelson’s words, “This is a film that lets you hate the war and love the soldier.” Indeed.

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