Watch: The Messenger 2009 123movies, Full Movie Online – While on a recent deployment to Iraq, US Army Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery is injured when an improvised explosive device goes off within close proximity to him. He is back in the States recovering from the more serious of those injuries, including one to his eye and leg. He has resumed a sexual relationship with his long time girlfriend Kelly, despite the fact that she is now engaged to another man who Will knows. With the few months Will has left in his enlistment, the army assigns him to the Casualty Notification Team in his area. Not having a background in counseling, psychology or grief management, he is unsure if he is well suited to this job. He is partnered with a career soldier, Captain Tony Stone, who teaches Will the precise protocol involved in the job. Tony tells Will, who quickly learns by on the job experience, that this job has its own dangers. As Will learns to adapt to the range of emotions of the next of kin, he is unprepared for the reaction of Olivia Pitterson, whose husband was killed in Iraq. His initial encounter with Olivia leads to him wanting to get to know her better, which may not be in either her or his best interest. Despite being a recovering alcoholic, the more experienced Tony tries to guide Will as best he can under their collective circumstances..
Plot: Will Montgomery, a U.S. Army Staff Sergeant who has returned home from Iraq, is assigned to the Army’s Casualty Notification service. Montgomery is partnered with Captain Tony Stone, to give notice to the families of fallen soldiers. The Sergeant is drawn to Olivia Pitterson, to whom he has delivered news of her husband’s death.
Smart Tags: #casualty_notification_team #respect #workout #soldier #taxi #black_comedy #ptsd_post_traumatic_stress_disorder #21st_century #female_full_frontal_nudity #casualty_notification #staff_sergeant #captain #sergeant #improvised_explosive_device #recovering_alcoholic #grief #crying_woman #dark_comedy #death_notification #punching_a_hole_in_a_wall #acting
|7.1/10 Votes: 35,573
|90% | RottenTomatoes
|77/100 | MetaCritic
|N/A Votes: 349 Popularity: 8.801 | TMDB
Contrived tale of Army Casualty Notification Unit
The job of notifying next of kin by the Army Casualty Notification Unit is an extremely sensitive one. Such a job is not entrusted to just anyone in the military—you have to undergo significant training before you’re assigned to such a specialized unit. That’s why it’s hard to believe that Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery (Ben Foster) would be thrust into the job when he only has three months of enlistment time left. What’s more, would the Sergeant have been chosen since he’s only recently come back from Iraq and may have been traumatized there? As for his training, his commanding officer, Captain Tony Stone (Woody Harrelson), merely throws a training manual in his lap and expects him to learn the job as they go along.
To confess, I’m a bit biased against movies such as ‘The Messenger’ because I find characters who like themselves to be vastly more compelling and believable than those who don’t. In general, characters who don’t like themselves are dull and rarely add to the dramatic flow of the narrative (can you imagine a sad-sack Tony Soprano ever capturing the public’s imagination?). The strategy of the Messenger’s scenarists is to start us off with the two angst-ridden soldiers, Montgomery and Stone, and eventually show how they redeem themselves by overcoming their depressing background and circumstances.
Montgomery is basically a putz who can’t accept the fact that his former girlfriend has dumped him and is now engaged to someone else (how many sad-sack soldiers do you know who would actually show up at an ex-girlfriend’s wedding intoxicated and wearing unwashed military fatigues?). The implication of course is that somehow, due to being traumatized in Iraq, he would end up acting that way. The contrived wedding scene is designed to show Montgomery at his lowest moment—after acting in such a boorish manner, he can now redeem himself by lending a helping hand to Olivia (Samantha Morton), the widow who he recently notified that her husband had been killed in action.
Similarly, Captain Stone also has self-esteem issues. On the surface, his by-the-book demeanor masks a deep self-hatred. This is manifested in his constant skirt-chasing and avoidance of any meaningful relationships with women. The basic question arises: would the Military actually have put someone like Captain Stone in charge of an army Casualty Notification Unit (i.e. someone so broken and negative?). I would suggest that such a negative character is a complete exaggeration anyway, designed merely to create dramatic scenarios where none would exist truly in reality. But even if such a character existed, he would probably be the last chosen by the military to head a Casualty Notification Unit.
It takes a good deal of time before the central conflict comes to a head between Stone and Montgomery. And that is basically Montgomery believes in being a little more sensitive when notifying the next of kin as opposed to Stone who wants to follow ‘procedures’. That’s about the essence of the conflict between the two principals and when they finally confront each other, it’s not much of a payoff. The sub-plot involves Montgomery trying to start things up with Olivia—his decision to not make the moves on her is designed to show that he’s a ‘good guy’ after all and through his efforts to help her, shows that he’s attained a measure of redemption.
The Messenger also consists of various scenes in which the next of kin are notified of the deaths of their loved ones. Given the variety of the people we meet, it’s probably the most interesting aspect of the film. Steve Buscemi’s performance is probably the most notable (for better or worse) of these characters, where he strikes Montgomery after being notified about the death of his son, and later offers a rather predictable apology.
I’ve read that the men and women who perform the job of the Casualty Notification Units are dedicated, trained professionals who by the nature of their employment, must set an example by living lives of great integrity (unlike the two troubled malcontents in ‘The Messenger’). The contrived characters of ‘The Messenger’ do nothing to enhance the reputation of these specialized units; rather, their opposition feels artificial, contrived, all part of a plot artifice that calls for the type of conflict one might expect to see in the movies but never in real life. While I have no doubt, ‘The Messenger’ was meticulously researched as to how these Notification units operate, it still feels like it was written by an outsider. ‘The Messenger’ might have gotten many of its ‘facts’ right, but unfortunately I could not believe I was watching a story about real people.
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 53 min (113 min), 1 hr 45 min (105 min) (Berlin International) (Germany)
Genre Drama, Romance, War
Director Oren Moverman
Writer Alessandro Camon, Oren Moverman
Actors Ben Foster, Samantha Morton, Woody Harrelson
Country United States
Awards Nominated for 2 Oscars. 17 wins & 47 nominations total
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Dolby Digital
Aspect Ratio 2.35 : 1
Camera Arricam LT, Cooke S4 and Angenieux Optimo Lenses
Laboratory DeLuxe, New York (NY), USA (digital intermediate), Mega Playground, New York (NY), USA (digital print dailies)
Film Length 3,114 m (Portugal, 35 mm)
Negative Format 35 mm (Fuji Eterna 500T 8573, Reala 500D 8592)
Cinematographic Process Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format), Super 35 (3-perf) (source format)
Printed Film Format 35 mm (anamorphic)