What Caused Lynsey’s Brain Injury In ‘Causeway’? How Did James Help Her With The Trauma?

Everyone carries a scar but learning to accept those wounds can cause immense pain and trauma. ‘Causeway’ is a 2022 psychological drama film starring Jennifer Lawrence as Lynsey, an army engineer who had to face the aftereffects of a serious brain injury. This movie highlights how a person’s traumatic past changes them. Apart from this, Lynsey’s life changes with the presence of James in her life. It’s good to see how two people discover peace in each other and form a strong bond that lures them out of the pain and misery that they’re dealing with. Meanwhile, the story begins with Lynsey’s struggle to cope with the sudden change in physical and mental therapy. Well, growing up, Lynsey dealt with familial problems, and she couldn’t deal with the lifestyle her mother was providing as they never shared an emotional bond. Lynsey wanted to leave her hometown, so she joined the army and started working with the Army Corps of Engineers; she specialized in water systems. One fine day, she was deployed to work on a dam, and while she was about to reach the base, the lead vehicle exploded. Before she could make out anything, Lynsey’s vehicle exploded, and the man next to her was burning. Lynsey couldn’t figure out anything and lost consciousness. The only thing that she remembered was her presence in the hospital. The doctors informed her that the detonation caused her brain to bleed. 


The IED attack took a huge toll on her mental health, and she spent months with Sharon – a caretaker who helped her to get back in shape. Lynsey was completely devastated since this brain injury deprived her of all the basic activities. Lynsey found it difficult to hold a glass or a toothbrush. Apart from physical injuries, Lynsey dealt with mental health problems that came with extreme anxiety, PTSD, and panic attacks. Every night she would wake up with a nightmare, and Lynsey would take hours to step out of it. Meanwhile, Sharon calmed her down while she trembled with fear. Lynsey wanted to deploy back to the army since she couldn’t depend on her mother, Gloria. Even though she was very loving, there was tension between them that is easily visible throughout the movie. Despite her efforts, Lynsey could never have conversations with her mother. 

She eventually headed back to New Orleans and met with her mother. But their reunion lacks enthusiasm since none of them displayed affection for each other. The town of New Orleans felt empty, but Lynsey’s life changed with James’ arrival. Lynsey started working as a pool cleaner, and on her way back home, she lost track of the truck and experienced severe anxiety, which resulted in a crash. So, Lynsey ended up meeting James, a mechanic, and they quickly became friends since both of them had similar experiences in the past. Lynsey wanted to stop the medication, but her neurologist advised her to continue with them since the sudden withdrawal symptoms might pose a high risk of seizures and anxiety. But she was adamant about her decision and often forced the doctors to accept her request. Lynsey wanted to pass the test to redeploy, but there was no guarantee as to whether they’ll take her back or not. 


Meanwhile, Lynsey opened up to James and even shared more details about her sexuality. They began spending more time with each other, and somehow Lynsey found peace with him. Soon, James revealed that his past has a dark story as well. He met with a car accident with his sister Jess and her son, Antoine. James lost his nephew Antoine in the accident, and since then, Jess and he have been on bad terms. Simultaneously, they share their darkest feelings. Lynsey opened up that she wanted to escape from New Orleans. Lynsey and her brother were looking forward to escaping their house together, but only Lynsey could make it out. Meanwhile, Lynsey explained that the relationship with her mother was toxic. James gave her the option to stay with him in order to escape her house. 

Lynsey tried to establish a connection with her mother, but she let her down again. They were busy having a girl’s night in the pool, but her mother chose to speak to her boyfriend instead of spending time with her. Moreover, Lynsey tried to speak to her doctor again, but he explained that there was a possible risk of reinjury, and it could pose a greater threat to her mental health. But Lynsey was ready to take this risk, and she wanted to redeploy as soon as possible. Well, Lynsey wanted to get her mind off things, so she decided to spend some time with James in her client’s pool at Octave street. Here, James shared the entire story with her. In reality, James and Jess were on bad terms because of James’ mistake. Her son, Antoine, had wanted to sit next to him in the passenger seat. So, James allowed him to do that, despite his age. Jess had been completely against this since he was a child, and he had to be seated in the car seat. Amidst this conversation, Lynsey ended up kissing him, and they got into a huge fight since Lynsey couldn’t figure out her needs and wants. They both went their separate ways, and Lynsey once again got back to her doctor to discuss her plans for redeployment. Lynsey convinced him that the Afghanistan detonation wasn’t the only thing responsible for her trauma and her doctor agreed to sign the waiver. Before leaving, Lynsey decided to contact him, but he didn’t respond to her calls. Moreover, all the car repairs were free for Lynsey as she worked in the army. Lynsey was delighted to know this but decided to visit her brother, who was in prison for illegal drug dealing. 


They met each other after years, and since her brother was born deaf, they contacted her through sign language. Her brother had a strained relationship with his mother since she didn’t contact him for a long time. But the two managed to talk it out, and Lynsey decided to visit James. The movie ended on a good note, as James and Lynsey reconciled with each other, and Lynsey decided to stay back in New Orleans for a while! Moreover, she even proposed a plan to move in with James. The movie ‘Causeway’ deals with the pressures of post-traumatic stress, and it also gives a deeper insight into how trauma can be linked to a person’s childhood. Just like Lynsey, James had to face a traumatic past that involved his family members, but the two managed to find friendship and comfort in each other.

“Causeway” is a 2022 drama film directed by Lila Neugebauer.

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Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya is a Mass Media graduate and she is currently working and living in Mumbai. From a very young age, Raschi was heavily interested in reading and writing. She prefers to write everything that her mind nurtures her to do as shaping up her imagination is her forte!

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