Watch Memorial Day
- 1 hr 44 min
Memorial Day is a 2012 war film that explores the relationship between a grandfather and his grandson, both veterans of different wars, who come together on Memorial Day to celebrate the holidays and reminisce about their past. Directed by Samuel Fischer and starring Jonathan Bennett, James Cromwell, and John Cromwell, the movie explores the trauma of war and the impact it has on human lives. The story begins with Kyle Vogel (Bennett), a soldier returning home from Iraq after a traumatic incident in which his best friend, Buddy (Erik Fritts), was killed in battle. The opening scenes of the movie show Kyle struggling to come to terms with his PTSD and his inability to fit back into civilian life. Haunted by his memories of the war, Kyle is distant, withdrawn, and struggling to connect with his family and friends. As the movie progresses, we see Kyle's grandfather, Bud (James Cromwell), a World War II veteran who is dealing with his own demons, trying to connect with Kyle and help him come to terms with his trauma. Throughout the movie, we see Bud and Kyle talking about their experiences in different wars, finding common ground, and connecting through their shared experiences. The movie is structured around Kyle's flashbacks to his time in Iraq, where he and Buddy first met and became close friends. These scenes provide a visceral and intense portrayal of war, from the tension and fear of going on patrol to the explosive violence of an unexpected attack. Through these flashbacks, we see the bond between Kyle and Buddy grow stronger and understand the depth of Kyle's grief and trauma. However, the movie is not only about Kyle's trauma. It also explores the impact of war on families, with a particular focus on the price paid by military personnel and their loved ones. We see this through Kyle's girlfriend, Tori (Emily Bennet), and his family, who are constantly worried about him and trying to support him in any way they can. One of the crucial strengths of Memorial Day is its focus on the emotional toll of war. The film creates a complex and nuanced portrayal of the traumas facing both Kyle and Bud, showing how they use each other to heal and cope with their disabilities. Bud, for instance, is dealing with the loss of his dear wife, his guilt over not being able to save his friend in the war, and the realization that he is nearing the end of his life. As well as the powerful performances by Bennett and Cromwell, the supporting cast is excellent. John Cromwell, James Cromwell's real-life son, plays an elderly veteran with whom Bud shares war stories, and Hume Cronyn is moving in a brief appearance as a Medal of Honor recipient with a story Bud has memorized. In conclusion, Memorial Day is a heartfelt and powerful depiction of the impact of war on individuals and families, as well as the resilience of the human spirit. The film does an impressive job of using the personal stories of Kyle and Bud, two veterans from different generations, to convey the lasting effects of war. The movie is an emotional tour de force filled with moments of both joy and sorrow, encouraging viewers to cherish the memories of their loved ones, both living and dead.