Indivisible (2018)

Genres - Drama, War  |   Release Date - Oct 26, 2018 (USA)  |   Run Time - 119 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Jules Fox

Indivisible is a real-life heartwarming story about a family that endured the pressures of an army life, as well as the shortcomings of mankind, during the 2007 Iraqi war. Their faith in God, enduring values to help build community no matter where they are, and commitment to each other provide just the right elements to combat the consistent drama that comes with the separation of military families, and the terror that war instills in all of them.

Director David G. Evans (The Grace Card), who penned the film with Cheryl McKay and Peter White for Christian faith-based movie studio Pureflix, presents the story in a competent enough manner on the surface. Based on a true story, the movie plays out like a highlight reel of the family's lowest moments and tells enough of the story back at home that we're able to care about what happens on both sides of the ocean.

However, despite hitting all the right cinematic moments, and backing it up with some decent actors as well as good production value, Indivisible lacks any human element of unpredictability. The characters are faced with plenty of dramatic moments, but in each of these opportunities, they make the smart decision and play their cards perfectly. In the end, this falls short of the concept of free will, so their faith in a religion that espouses human choice doesn't seem to leave them any option other than to constantly "do the right thing."

That being said, one of the strongest aspects of Indivisible is that the characters all work hard for what they want to achieve in their lives and have strong faith that everything will work out. In exchange, they're able to hold on to their beliefs while they are being tested and can help push things in the right direction so that they are genuinely helping themselves.

Chaplain Darren Turner, played by Justin Bruening (The Monster Project, Fat Girls) comes into the fray full throttle when he must leave his recently relocated military base family to fight in Iraq, and subsequently bears witness to the atrocities of the frontlines of the war and he is instantly encumbered by the deaths of soldiers and civilians all around. Encouraged by his commanding officer, played by Eric Close (Nashville) Darren stays the course and manages to continue his service.

Back at home, Heather Turner, played by Sarah Drew (Mom's Night Out, Radio) has a career as a photographer, volunteers with other army wives who are widowed, and has three kids to care for. She is given just enough screen time to show a broad range of emotion, and a huge capacity for giving.

Upon returning home, Darren begins suffering from PTSD and survivor's guilt. He also struggles to reacclimate himself to his former life. His short fuse, and emotional distance from his wife, puts their marriage in doubt, but thanks to some montages of exercise and playing with their children, both Darren and Heather manage to work through their mutual frustrations and begin rebuilding their family.

One more peculiar choice, this one falling outside of the realm of plot or directing, is to release this heartwarming family values movie on Halloween weekend. While it provides a sweet film for mellow moviegoers, it seems out of place against the slasher/creature competition that aims for scares. Although nobody would mistakenly label Indivisible a classic, it has enough evergreen content that it will remain a decent enough watch for most folks at any time of the year.

To its credit, Indivisible embraces the idea of community connection, which will allow it to hold enough human appeal for viewers who may not be very religious. Ultimately, so long as you aren't expecting any surprises and a lot of depth, it makes for a pretty good watch.