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The complexity of the soldier's psyche is of vital importance to Bigelow's film. I think that the message of how the modern theatre of war impacts today's soldier is one that resonates throughout the film. There is an emotional timbre to what is shown that prevents any easy or simple designation to what is scene. Like the devices that have to be carefully dismembered, there is a taut emotional complexity that drives the film's message. I believe that this is seen in the closing of the film. James' tour of duty is one that is emotionally challenging. His return home could be seen as a refuge from such tension and suffering. Yet, James recognizes that his time in war is his only happiness, being unable to adjust to the "normalcy" in civilian life. His speaking to his son is a complex moment, one where there is an emotional connection to an experience devoid of emotional attachments in war. It is in this sequence, combined with the ending of James returning to Iraq for another tour of duty, where the message of how the emotional complexity of war impacts the modern soldier in a profound way is conveyed in a convincing and haunting manner.
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