the ottoman lieutenant 

Director: joseph ruben (sleeping with the enemy, the forgotten)

Starring: hera hilmer, Michiel Huisman, josh hartnett, and ben kingsley

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

★★★

A strong-willed woman, frustrated by ongoing injustice at home, leaves the United States after meeting Jude, an American doctor who runs a remote medical mission within the Ottoman Empire -- a world both exotic and dangerous, and on the brink of what is about to become the first World War. There, she finds her loyalty tested to both Jude and the mission's founder when she falls in love with their perceived enemy, a lieutenant in the Ottoman Imperial Army.

The Ottoman Lieutenant feels like a throwback to the films of yesteryear like The English Patient and Out of Africa: big, sweeping romantic epics set against the backdrop of war. Which is a pity because The Ottoman's Lieutenant is a great watch. 

Lillie heads from her safe, middle class existence to the wild Ottoman Empire to deliver her brothers truck filled with much needed medical supplies. While there she meets Ismail, an lieutenant in the Ottoman army, who guides her to the American run medical mission in the middle of nowhere. There she is reacquainted with Jude, an American doctor. As World War I approaches, Lillie's loyalty to Ismail and to Jude is tested. 

Now The Ottoman Lieutenant probably won't win any awards, be overly praised by the critics, or added into anyone's Top Ten Films of 2018. But that doesn't stop it from being a really, enjoyable night in front on the telly. 

Its epic in the beautiful scope of the Ottoman empire, the love story is stirring, and the acting is really quite good. Sure there are moments where it stoops into corny territory but don't all films of this kind of elk? 

 

And they don't make these kind of movies anymore. Once they were the staple studio blockbuster. That crown has now gone to avenging superheroes, the world of jurassic dinos, and a galaxy far, far away.

 

So when a film comes along like this its a bit of a breath of fresh air. If you're a fan of the sweeping epic or you want to banish the Avengers to Titan, put the dinos in their cage, or freeze those rebels in carbonite and make sure you add The Ottoman Lieutenant to your watch list. 

Not a classic by any means but getting swept up in the epic romance that is The Ottoman Lieutenant is a great way to spend an evening in front of the telly. 

★★★

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The Ottoman Lieutenant is available on DVD and digital from all good disc and digital retailers. 

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