The Messenger


Release Date: January 19th 2009

Plot Outline: After his return from Iraq, a soldier is assigned to a Casualty Notification Team. He struggles with ethical dilemmas when he becomes romantically involved with the widow of a fallen officer.

I enjoyed the first half of The Messenger; it was emotional, sad, and extremely interesting. By the second half of the movie I felt like I was watching a completely different film.

The first half of the movie was more about the soldiers dealing with families of the departed. The second half gets into the soldiers messed up lives and we just watch them running around being ridiculous and reckless. Notifying family members wasn’t in the second half of the movie at all, which confused me because I thought that was what the movie was about. I suppose I was wrong.

One thing I loved about The Messenger were the camera angles. They were phenomenal. The angles always showed exactly what needed to be seen. There wasn’t usually a lot of background. A lot of the movie focused mainly on faces, stressing the importance of emotions and facial expressions in the film. If something was needed to be seen in the background then it was shown.

There was one scene in particular that displayed this: The two main characters (Foster, Harrelson) tell a man that his daughter has died in battle overseas. He begins to cry and in the background we see a little boy playing with his toys on the floor, we gather that it is her son.

The angles were very well done. They made each scene more intense. I would imagine this would also cause the actors to act better knowing that a lot of the scene is strictly focused on their faces and their reactions.

A friend told me that the actors, Harrelson and Foster didn’t know how the people were going to react so it was kind of an inprov movie. I looked up everything I could about that aspect of the filming but couldn’t find anything stating what she claimed. So let me know if anyone else has heard that.


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