- 1 hr 38 min
Return is a gripping drama that follows the story of Kelli, a National Guard soldier who returns home to her family and small-town community in Ohio after serving in the Iraq War. The film chronicles Kelli's struggles to reintegrate back into civilian life while dealing with the emotional toll of her experiences in Iraq. Linda Cardellini delivers a stunning performance as Kelli, a strong, independent woman who is forced to confront the harsh realities of life after war. As she struggles to find her place in a society that has moved on without her, she is haunted by the memories of the friends she lost and the violence she witnessed while serving in the Middle East. The film offers a unique perspective on the challenges faced by returning soldiers, particularly women, as they try to readjust to civilian life. Kelli's difficulties are compounded by the fact that many of her family and friends don't fully understand what she's been through, and she finds it difficult to talk about her experiences with them. Michael Shannon plays Kelli's supportive husband, Mike, who is also dealing with his own emotional baggage in the wake of her return. As Kelli struggles to reconnect with him and their two daughters, Mike tries his best to offer support, but his own struggles with depression and unemployment make it difficult for him to be the calm, stable anchor that Kelli needs. John Slattery delivers a solid performance as Kelli's boss, Bud, who is sympathetic to her struggles but ultimately powerless to help her. As her job at a manufacturing plant becomes increasingly difficult, Kelli finds herself turning to alcohol and risky behaviors to numb her pain. Return is a deeply moving exploration of the psychological impact of war on soldiers and their families. Director Liza Johnson offers a nuanced portrayal of the complex emotions and experiences that soldiers face when they return home, never shying away from the darker aspects of Kelli's struggle to find her place in the world. The film is shot in a realistic, unflinching style that emphasizes the grim realities of life for returning soldiers, particularly those dealing with PTSD and other psychological issues. However, it is also ultimately a hopeful film, emphasizing the resilience and strength of the human spirit even in the face of overwhelming odds. Return is an inspiring film that offers a thought-provoking exploration of some of the most pressing issues facing America's returning soldiers today. It is a powerful testament to the bravery and courage of those who have served their country, and a reminder that even in the darkest of times, hope and healing are possible.