Saturday, February 18th, 2012


In the dead of night, a group of 10 men, including a
police commissioner, his Arab driver, a prosecutor, a doctor, diggers and two
self confessed killers drive through the desolate steppes of the Anatolian
countryside, and the empty winding roads are only lit by the headlights of
their convoy. They are searching for a corpse, the victim of a brutal murder.
Kenan, the main killer claims he was drunk and cannot remember where he buried
the body, and his poor idiot brother is no use at all.  Their only clue is a fountain, but the roadside
is littered with them and they all look the same and so the search seems both
endless and pointless.
As they drive from hillside to hillside there is
plenty of downtime and whilst the prisoner remains silent and morose the odd band
of officials incessantly banter and crack jokes, bicker over their next course
of action, and discuss diverse topics ranging from food to their country’s future.  Their chat adds an unexpected level of humor
to this unrelentingly grim tale.  As the
movie very slow moves on their conversations get more personal and they tentatively
relate details, albeit somewhat veiled, about their own stories, which reveal a
great deal about their own troubled pasts.
As the long night draws on the team stop to eat at the
nearby village and are welcomed and fed by the local mayor and his beautiful
daughter who add another strand to the story. 
Once they have dined Kenan not only admits to knowing the actual
location of the body but also professes that he is actually the father of the
victim’s son.  They find the body and as
the Prosecutor dictates an on the spot Report on the grisly scene to his
Assistant he suddenly bizarrely cracks a joke about the victim looking like Clark Gable.
They take the body back to a nearby provincial town where
they met by an angry mob and the widow and her son. Now the pace picks up somewhat and things begin to happen,
though all their meanings are really deliberately unclear.
This 170 min epic is the
latest feature film by Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan for which he won the Gran Prix at Cannes last year.  His style is very metaphysical and totally
unrushed ….. my friend Peter who watched this with me , very acutely observed
that if this plot had been made into a TV Show it would have been over in 20 minutes.  The visual look of the piece shot in dim
light is stunning …. helped by the natural beauty of that region. But what totally
fascinated me about this film was that Ceylan had this amazing knack of making the monotonous
real human beings appear really interesting.
I walked out of the movie theater
somewhat dazed, and my first question was ‘what just happened?’ and tried to start making some conventional sense of all the strands of the story.  But some hours
later, possibly non the wiser,  and I still find myself unable to stop thinking about this unique film which is quite unlike
any I have viewed for a very long time (ever even?) and I now appreciate that this
was movie going at its best.


Posted by queerguru  at  17:09


Follow queerguru

Search This Blog

View 5 min movie By: