Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Triage **

Director: Danis Tanovic
Cast: Colin Farrell, Jamie Sives, Paz Vega
Kelly Reilly Branko Djuric, Juliet Stevenson, Christopher Lee

Sticking to the kind of austere-by-way-of-beautiful aesthetic he explored in No Man's Land, Denis Tanovic once again examines the chaotic nature of war in Triage.
Colin Farrell plays Mark Walsh, a journalistic photographer who comes home from Kurdistan with scars and no recollection of what happened to his best friend David (Sives).
Not knowing what to do, his wife (Vega) sends for her estranged grandfather (Lee), a prominent psychoanalyst who slowly begins to get to the mystery of what happened to Mark.
With little consideration for nuance, Tanovic constructs a story of such archaic proportions that you don't need to know much about storytelling devices to know where it's going.
Farrell's character, being the center of the film and all, never sees himself fully realized and by the time we get to the big breakthrough, Tanovic had made sure the events unfold in pure soap opera style.
What gives Triage somewhat of a spirit are the little details that escape the main plot's constriction; Reilly for instance is divine as David's very pregnant wife, filling her character with the sort of life everyone else in the film seems obsessed with ignoring.
Her relation to the void left by her husband at the beginning of the movie and Mark's need to call death upon himself could very well recall some derivation of the Apollonian versus Dionysian spirit.
But other than Reilly, none of the actors ever truly evoke something that feels real. When not even the astonishing Christopher Lee is capable of moving something in you, whether intellectual or emotional, you know what kind of movie you're in for.

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