Taking Chance

Movie Reviews this week looks at the true story Taking Chance. This is a heart renching true story of many of the untold parts of the war and conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan and many parts of the world, that we do not get to see or hear about, that of the escort that makes sue the bodies of the fallen get home to their families, and any arefacts and belongings they may possess at the time of their death is preserved right upto its' handling to their loved ones. Kevin Bacon plays Lt Colonel Mike Strobl who although has a wife(played by Paige Turco,Gail Emory in American Gothic) and children, feels as a marine he should be active in Iraq, however he has been doing office work in a cubicle, and the main part of his job is to determine logistics of how many men are needed for a particular location, which has left him feeling less than a marine, so each night he views the casualty list from Iraq, until one casuality list in particular causes him to volunteer as an escort to bring the body back home, as the young victim is from his home town.

I must say the dignity from the initial scenes to the war dead is something we will all appreciate, there is one poignant scene where Mike Strobl is being scanned at the airport, as he is a very high ranking officer, it stands to reason he has quite a lot of metal on his person, as with all flights shoes have to be taken off, and jackets, or coats with any metal scanned, one of the key scenes in the movie is Strobl's indignation at being having to denigrate the uniform by taking his jacket off. This is a heart renching tale, and one of immense dignity with redemption at the same time, we get to see from the side of many of the untold stories what goes on behind the scenes in bringing a fallen soldier back home, the respect paid to the dead does not falter for one minute, even though Private First Class Chance Phelps might have died at a very young age, we literally feel that the lives Private First Class Chance Phelps touches, even though he is not in the movie is all encompassing.

One of the refreshing aspects of Taking Chance, is that it doesn't focus on the war in Iraq, it's justification or lack thereof, but the human dignity and sense of personal loss in bringing one fallen soldier hope, this is captured superbly during the movie from the onset. Kevin Bacon plays Mike Strobl brilliantly, from the feeling of awkwardness and self examination that maybe he is not justified to be a marine as he is not in physically in a conflict, to literally not letting the body or Private First Class Chance Phelp's artefacts not leave his sight for one minute would be a source of immense comfort to any relatives of a fallen soldier, that they will be treated with dignity and respect throughout the journey back home.