Triage (2009)

Elena : "Mark, did something happen in Kurdistan?"

By Danis Tanovic
With Colin Farrell, Paz Vega and Christopher Lee 

I met Triage after watching No Man's Land (whose main actor has a secondary role here as a doctor), I checked out the director and saw Triage. It seemed interesting as the theme of war photography is not something I've seen often in movies.

Triage starts with two friends having a drink and meeting with their girlfriends to discuss a trip they are about to make. It's 1988 and there is a war in Kurdistan, where they plan to visit since they are war photographers. They are at the front line of a war and the amount of horrors they witness makes one of them doubt, his girlfriend is pregnant and he wants to go home. The other couple want to keep going; they are the only photographers here, the assault seems imminent, they could get the much desired "money shot". An explosion later, he wants to go home. They part. Mark wakes up in the same hospital he photographed, he's injured. Mark goes home but David is not there.

The theme of war is omnipresent, when there is a war, everything around is modified by it. The story is the strongest point of the movie, it has a lot of potential. A number of interesting themes are touched as well, from euthanasia to post-traumatic stress disorder and relationships. The movie is a mystery, and it does a fairly good job at that. Characters are well supported by their actors. All the characters remain mysterious, which might be part of a mystery movie, but doesn't help clarity. There is only so much to say about a desperate situation.

I liked: The story and it's denouement.  The two female cast (Paz Vega and Kelly Reilly) are absolutely charming. War photography.

I disliked: Christopher Lee's character background and mystery. Seems to mock psychiatry by keeping away from it. With the exception of some good quotes, most dialogues were unable to invest the viewer in the story.

War movies are always raw and this doesn't miss the point. The characters are at loss when faced with it. The movie has strong scenes followed by more random ones.


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