Colin Farrell stars in TRIAGE

     April 10, 2008

Written by Nicole Pedersen

Colin Farrell will join the war drama “Triage,” the new film from Bosnian director Danis Tanovic who won the 2001 Foreign Language Oscar for “No Man’s Land.”

“Triage” is based on the book by US Journalist Scott Anderson, about combat photographer Mark Walsh and his experiences during and after the war in Bosnia.

Farrell will play the photojournalist Walsh, who returns from covering Bosnia shell-shocked and without his best friend and colleague. His girlfriend (played by Spanish actress Paz Vega) helps unravel the mystery surrounding the disappearance. Christopher Lee will co-star as Walsh’s confidante, post-trauma.

Farrell was on his way to becoming a Hollywood punchline before he shifted focus from glossy starring vehicles like “Alexander” and went back to small, European films like “In Bruges.” Hey, it’s a start. Still, he may have miscalculated with “Triage.”

In case you haven’t noticed, war movies are not exactly big at the box office right now. In fact the only war that has been as unpopular with theatre goers as the current Iraq conflict is the 1990’s war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Richard Gere in “The Hunting Party” – not sounding too familiar? That’s because it was only in theatres for, like, two seconds. Even Owen Wilson’s action-themed “Behind Enemy Lines” barely broke even when it debuted back in 2001. Still, Farrell is a ‘serious’ artist so he is taking his role in “Triage,” well, seriously.

He visited the site in Bosnia where 8,000 Muslims were killed in one day and told Reuters afterward: “I felt sick… but you really do get the sense of the pain and the loss and I am sad, I really am sad.”

Well, mass murder will have that effect. While Farrell should be commended for his research abilities, it should be said that his box-office performances, of late, do not bode well for the success of “Triage.” I believe that honest depictions of atrocities are called for in a country that seems to care more about Britney Spears than our own five year boondoggle in Iraq; but people have to WANT to see war films for them to make an impact. Colin Farrell or no, “Triage” has an uphill battle ahead.

Anthony Minghella declared the “Triage” godfather here.

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