Triage review


New Member
This movie is a couple years old now, but I'd never heard of it until last night when Andrea put in the DvD. I was very impressed and highly recommend it.
Colin Farrell plays Mark, a freelance photojournalist in Kurdistan with his best friend and fellow shutterbug David, played by Jamie Sives. They meet a doctor (Branko Djuric) at a remote field hospital that is badly understaffed and poorly supplied. The doctor has a method of triage involving colored tape that he tags the wounded with. The most hopeless cases he euthanizes with a pistol shot to the head!
David practically begs Mark to leave before the fighting gets any worse, but Mark wants just a few more photos of the action before going home. While travelling with an armed patrol they get separated during a firefight involving mortars and artillery. Mark wakes up back in the field hospital and comes dangerously close to getting put in the "pistol shot" category, but he pulls through and when his wounds heal enough to travel, returns home. There, he has to explain to his girlfriend Elena (Paz Vega) and to David's pregnant wife Diane (Kelly Reilly) why he came home without his best friend. In a flashback, we learn that David and Diane planned to name the boy Mark in honor of him.
Long distance inquries are made and it is discovered that David never showed up back at his hotel and that no one has seen or heard from him since the day of the firefight. You get the feeling that Mark's story doesn't add up, or that something is missing from it. Meanwhile, Mark starts showing serious signs of PTSD and Elena contacts her grandfather, Joaquin, a famous Spanish psychiatrist, played by the legendary Christopher Lee, to treat Mark.
Let me go a little off-topic here for those of you who don't know much about this great actor. He's probably best-known for his roles as Count Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, et cetera, in the Hammer horror films of the 1960's, but he has been in so many movies over the years that he holds the Guiness Book record for most appearances in motion pictures. He was in the Intelligence Branch of the RAF in WW2 and has always been mum on what sort of spying, etc. he got up to during the war. In one interview he was asked if he was involved in this or that intelligence operation, and he asked the interviewer, "Can you keep a secret"? When the interviewer said "Yes", Christopher Lee said, "So can I"!
To me, the best scenes in Triage are the ones with Chris Lee, still a superb actor at over 80. It turns out Elena has always despised her grandfather, because he worked for the fascist dictator Marco during and after the Spanish Civil War. His job was to treat fascist personnel who had committed unspeakable atrocities and to help them cope with the psychological consequences of those actions. The scene where he justifies that work to Elena is very eloquent and touching.
Gradually and cleverly, Joaquin pulls Mark out of his denial and deeply repressed memories of what really happened to David back in Kurdistan. You should watch Triage to find out, and also to experience some splendid acting and moviemaking. It is the best movie of it's kind that I've seen this century.