Danis Tanovic – Triage (2009)

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A war photographer on assignment in Kurdistan is traumatized by the death of his best friend. He is then nursed back to health by his girlfriend’s grandfather, who may or may not be a notorious war criminal from the Spanish Civil War.

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When I looked up a bit of information on Triage after watching it, I was genuinely surprised to discover that it’s not a true story. I suppose it’s the touch of an actual war correspondent that gives it that real life cache, as the author of the novel it’s based upon is a veteran in that arena. While it had a degree of Hollywood polish and shine, it felt tremendously possible, which made it easy to relate to as a viewer, despite my having spent the entirety of my own life lazy and safe and nowhere near anything approximating war.

Going into the film, I thought it would be about experiences in the field, and despite its necessary but slow start, I was pleasantly surprised when the focus turned instead to the psychology of survivors, and the idea of forgiveness in the wake of tragedy. It added a depth to a film that otherwise would have gotten lost amongst the many others in the genre.

I tend to forget what a fantastically talented actor Colin Farrell is until I see him in action again. He has an ease with his characters that I particularly appreciate, and I was glad that he didn’t push this one over the top, because it would have been all too easy to do. This hearkens back to the directing, and while overall Triage wasn’t a standout in that aspect, I think that Danis Tanovic did a commendable job restraining a subject matter that is often overdone and exaggerated. Link

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no pass

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