EUFF 2018 Review: “Walk with Me” (2016) ★★★

© Asta Film ApS

For any war veteran, it’s always difficult to adjust to the normal life after leaving the battlefield, the sound of flying bullets, landmines and the constant face of death. But what happens if that soldier returns home missing a part of his body? Let’s say, two legs? For Thomas, it was not easy to accept the reality of him not being able to fully function. But his spirit drives him towards his eventual goal – to return back to where he got injured and kill all the enemies. But one thing the young man does not know is that his biggest enemy is he, himself, his fear and unwillingness to face the truth so that he can walk again, perhaps this time with someone who can build him up as an individual within.

“Walk with Me” co-written by Lisa Ohlin and Karina Dam, and directed by Lisa Ohlin, centers around Thomas, a twenty-five year old soldier deployed on a mission in Helmand. After stepping onto a landmine, he gets seriously injured, leaving him an amputee. While he tries to overcome such a drastic change in life psychologically, he continues to warm up his thought of keeping his dream alive that someday he’ll eventually return back to Helmand, Afghanistan and finish the war. However, soon he realizes that this not going to be easy, as he first needs to begin how to learn to walk with prosthetic legs.

Being constantly in a furious mood, he enters into a difficult and sorry relationship with his girlfriend, Nina, who tries to be as supportive as she can. But it seems no one could click with him other than Sofie, a ballet dancer whose mother, Ruth, is gravely ill. While she’s at the hospital, she helps Thomas regain his confidence in himself, helps him to walk, and in the meantime feel good about himself by all means. But all the unexpected happiness does not come without the price that needs to be paid – a price only Thomas would pay if he allows all the pain and trauma he went through in the war to stay with him.

In the end, “Walk with Me” is an excellent human story about two individuals who need each other so desperately that they’re forced to close their eyes on everything that’s happening around. Sofie’s steely patience is balanced by Thomas’ uncontrolled temper for the two to walk together on a thin line of love, despair, loss and life they both see in different ways. But all of that won’t matter as long as Sofie is by Thomas’ side. That is what makes this film unlike its predecessor – humane, important, deeply moving and real.

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