THE OTTOMAN LIEUTENANT
THE OTTOMAN LIEUTENANT is the first movie to explore the eastern front of World War I, and tells the story of a beautiful, strong-willed woman (Hera Hilmar, ANNA KARENINA, DAVINCI’S DEMONS), who, frustrated by ongoing injustice at home, leaves the United States after meeting Jude, an American doctor (Josh Hartnett, PENNY DREADFUL, BLACK HAWK DOWN, PEARL HARBOR ) 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 to Jude and the mission’s founder, (Ben Kingsley, GANDHI, SCHINDLER’S LIST) tested when she falls in love with a lieutenant in the Ottoman Imperial Army (Michiel Huisman, WILD, THE AGE OF ADALINE, HARLEY AND THE DAVIDSONS, GAME OF THRONES). Now, with invading army forces at their doorstep, and the world about to plunge into all-out war, she must decide if she wants to be what other people want her to be, or to be herself.
This sweeping romance is everything you want it to be. A grand score by Geoff Zanelli sets the tone for this gorgeously constructed period piece with a powerhouse cast. Director Joseph Ruben brings to life the story of a young woman, although born into wealth, has the desire to be of service as a nurse wherever she is needed. Inspired by a visiting doctor, she makes arrangements to use her inheritance to fund medical supplies and travel to a remote hospital in the Ottoman Empire. Along the way she tags a lieutenant in the Ottoman Imperial Army to be her escort to her inspiring doctor. Sparks fly as tradition and duty come into call and cooler heads must prevail in love and war, but who will win? Hera Hilmar plays our leading lady with the tenacity and innocence to make you both admire and route for her. Michiel Huisman as our Lieutenant is valiant, passionate, and maintains a ceaseless faith in doing what’s right. Josh Hartnett plays Jude as elegantly strong and equally stubborn. The unsurpassed master, Sir Ben Kingsley as hospital founder Woodruff, is strong-headed but for good reason. He becomes the guidance so desperately needed in Lillie’s adventure. The chemistry between the cast is deliciously palpable. I cannot imagine any of these roles filled by other actors. The costumes and the attention to detail are impeccable. The Ottoman Lieutenant is historically interesting and beautifully written, but don’t write it off as “just a romance.” The film tackles such issues as the outbreak of the Armenian genocide, gender politics, and transcending cultural and religious norms in the name of love. You can catch the film nationwide today, March 10th.
Michiel Huisman (Wild, Age of Adaline, “Game of Thrones”)
Hera Hilmar (Anna Karenina, Davinci’s Demons)
Josh Hartnett (“Penny Dreadful“)
& Academy Award-Winner Ben Kingsley (Gandhi, Schindlers List)
Directed by: Joseph Ruben
Written by: Jeff Stockwell
RT: 100 minutes