Triage (2009)

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Released 3-Nov-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category War Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2009
Running Time 95:32 (Case: 93)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Danis Tanovic
Studio
Distributor
E1 Entertainment
Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Colin Farrell
Jamie Sives
Paz Vega
Kelly Reilly
Branko Djuric
Mozaffar Shafeie
Karzan Sherabayani
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $19.95 Music Lucio Godoy


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Written and directed by Danis Tanovic, who won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for his brilliant debut feature No Man's Land in 2001, Triage is somewhat of a thematic sequel to that debut. Both films deal with the personal side of war, although Triage is a dramatic mystery rather than a black comedy. Unfortunately, Triage is not a patch on No Man's Land. In fact it's downright mediocre at the best of times.

     Set in 1988 as war erupts between Kurdistan and Iraq, the film follows the emotional plight of a war photographer, Mark (Colin Farrell), as he returns to the UK after suffering an injury in the field. It is not long before the effects of post traumatic stress become apparent and this condition is exacerbated by Mark's concern at his best friend and colleague's failure to have returned home despite leaving the warzone a day ahead of him. As his situation worsens, his girlfriend (Paz Vega) reluctantly reconnects with her grandfather (Christopher Lee), who she had disowned years earlier after discovering he had helped rehabilitate war criminals, to try to restore the sanity of the man she loves.

     The performances on show are all quite decent, particularly those of Colin Farrell and Christopher Lee. Likewise, the basic premise is interesting enough. Where Triage falls down is in the plot and storytelling. The plot is so thin it would struggle to pan out to a 30 minute short. At feature length, the film suffers from languid pacing and resorts to countless go-nowhere tangents to pad the affair. The story telling is a clumsy jumble that simultaneously manages to be overly structured and a disorganised mess. Every twist and turn in the story is telegraphed well in advance, in many cases by the simple virtue of there being so little going on in the story.

     Perhaps holding this film to the bar set by the director's work a decade earlier may seem unreasonable, however the choice of subject matter makes it impossible not to bring it to mind. Regardless of one's familiarity with No Man's Land, though perhaps more so if one is familiar, Triage is a genuine disappointment.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The film is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced. The video looks good. The image is clear and sharp, beneath a thin veneer of filmic grain. The colour palette has a musty look to it that helps convey the intended period feel to the film (although it perhaps makes things look older than they should be). There is a good level of shadow detail in the image, which is particularly important given that a good chunk of the film is set in a cave within a warzone. There is no sign of compression related artefacts or film artefacts in the image.

     There are no subtitles available, not even at one point where two of the leads speak Spanish to one another that seems as though it was intended to be subtitled.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The film features a choice of English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448kbps) or 2.0 (192Kbps). Though the audio is reasonably clean, the mix is awful. The dialogue is presented so softly that it is impossible to hear unless turned up to volumes at which the ambient sound and effects will deafen listeners. This issue is notably more pronounced in the 5.1 track, but an issue with both audio tracks. The audio/video sync is fine in each track at least. The surrounds and subwoofer are used impressively during the couple of skirmish scenes in the film, but are haphazardly used otherwise.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Trailer (2:20)

    An aimless barrage of meaningless emotional moments from the film, which does an unfortunately accurate job of summarising the slapdash nature of the film.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 edition includes a substantial making of featurette, behind-the-scenes footage, and nearly half an hour of audio interviews Farrell, Vega, Lee, Danis Tanovic and others. Clearly a winner for Region 1.

Summary

     A disappointing drama about a shell-shocked war reporter attempting to regain his sanity.

     The video presentation is good, however the audio is poorly mixed and it is often hard to make out the dialogue. This disc is devoid of any genuine extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
DisplayOptoma HD20 Projector. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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