Sunday, March 7, 2010

Movie Review: Reign Over Me (Portrayal of PTSD in a man who lost his family to 9/11)

OMG...I just caught the movie "Reign Over Me" on a local Sunday Movie and HAD to mention it here as a great example of the journey through PTSD.

There's plenty to see in this movie - I am always on the lookout for those that exemplify the experience of living with the Post Trauma Response...

Adam Sandler does a wonderful portrayal of his character, Charlie Fineman who is not the direct victim of a physical trauma but is living in the nightmare following the attacks of 9/11.

Sandler does a terrific job I think of exhibiting the numerous and variety of post trauma symptoms from the movies that play in his head to the need to do anything to avoid thinking of his family that perished in the attacks.

Actor Don Cheadle plays a college friend to Fineman whom he runs across one afternoon. Over time the relationship plays out to one where Cheadle's character Alan Johnson is a true and compassionate friend to Fineman as he lives the life of one truly tormented by the nightmare of living in the past pain of his unexpressed grief over the loss of his wife and 3 beautiful daughters and even how the family dog is a part of this mans tortuous existance as he struggles and fights against talking about his loss.

I am pleasantly surprised at how this director, Mike Binder, has captured not only the torment of PTSD but the complexitities of how society reacts and does not offer the support he needs to be able to truly grieve and heal in his own way.

Finally, once this conflict is resolved and compassion is shown to this man who has lost not only his family but his life as he knew it to the nightmares and torment of PTSD he slowly begins to trust others and find his way in the end.

If you are able to watch movies of others experiences without it being too triggering to your own losses, this is a great portrayal of the misunderstood issues that trauma survivors face and what truly is the answer to helping them find their way back from the nightmare of PTSD.

From the perspective of my own post trauma experiences, I am impressed at how this director was able to show how the resistance to facing the pain of our past can actually draw out the nightmare of PTSD and how compassion is the key to reaching those who are still suffering in the darkness of this nightmare.

I found the movie "Reign Over Me" at the itunes store for 9.99 or you can find it at amazon here


Kyla said...

I will defintely, check this one out. :) thanks for sharing

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed this move and was pleasantly surprised at the accuracy of this portrayal of PTSD. Let me know what you think of it!

Kyla said...

I saw it, what a great, movie. sad, touching. I really likes adam sandler's character, it really shows you what it's like for someone to deal with PTSD. I want to buy it, hope to find it on ebay or something :) thanks for, mentioning this.

Unknown said...

Am going to get it now. Thanks for the review which I found in a tweet! I still have deeply ingrained residual PTSD from long-term abuse even though I have resolved many triggers. Can't wait to see this movie.

Unknown said...

It's a great movie, Grace! I found it easy to watch even with the hard subject of trauma. It's very well done:)

I'm sorry to hear of your history with abuse although glad that you have resolved many of your triggers...thanks for dropping by and taking the time to leave a comment!