MOVIES WITH MICHAEL: Movie Review: Mending the Line
June 13, 2023
Michael's Movie Grade: B+
An excellent and very moving film about an important subject matter.
This film follows a young veteran, who returns home with strong PTSD, but who won't admit it because he would like to reenlist. After he storms out of a group therapy session, a doctor sets him up to learn fly fishing from a Vietnam veteran, who spends most of his time doing that alone. This is despite the fact that the doctor never told the Vietnam veteran about this, but she is worried about him fishing alone with his health problems. This may sound like very familiar territory and in many ways it is. However this is a movie that always has its heart in the right place and it easily shows. This movie has us connect with both the main characters deeply early on in the story, on a level that is more than us simply feeling sympathy for what they have been through. Much of this is due to them always feeling like real people. There is much more too them than the simple one or two personality traits that lesser films would have given them. It is also due to truly wonderful performances from Brian Cox and Sinqua Walls. Not only do both of them give good performances, but they also work incredibly well together and you truly believe this unlikely friendship. This movie's look at this topic is often quite intelligent. It does not simplify anything, nor does it suggest there are any easy answers. This movie never once applies that any of the pain these characters feel will go away or that it will even get much easier. Yet it does show that they can in fact learn to not let this pain control or define them. This is simply a powerful message and one that is much more emotionally effective than a more simplistic one. Hugely because of all this, many of the emotional moments here will simply tear at your heartstrings.