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9 is a very "Turkish" film as it is based on dialogues/monologues mostly,
it makes it difficult for a "foreigner" to get the film. The characters
proverbs and idioms a lot in their speech; this provides a beautiful
expression and perfect and natural atmosphere but unluckily these talks
not translate well.
The film is about "nothing is what it seems". It starts with a picture of perfect and happy district. A homeless young girl was raped and murdered there and some people of the district who are being interrogated in a dark room by the police insist that they are all good citizens, are loved by their neighbours, have a quiet life and have no relation with the girl and the murder. All say that such a criminal cannot be from the neighbourhood.
But as the gilded upper layer of their lives is scratched by questions of the police and the contradictory testimonies of themselves, we face something surprising: the ugly truth. But the question is "what is the truth?" Salim, one of the main characters, says it is such a story that your interpretation of it is the "truth".
"The film offers a critique not just of State fascism but fascism in daily life - in the lives of ordinary people..." suggests Umit Unal,the writer-director of 9 and his well-knitted script(which is a masterpiece of the Turkish script expert) tells us all murderers used to be ordinary people before.
To me, the film was awesome; smart retorts, very good actors, lots of metaphors, amazing music of ZeN, touching Yiddish song of Spiky and the frantic editing...I specially appreciate the performance of Cezmi Baskin(Salim), i think that it is the best in his career.
The movie centers entirely around the interrogation of 6 people about the murder of a homeless girl relatively new to their Istanbul neighborhood. The stories told by each of the characters about their community, neighbors and the murder start out innocently, but bit by bit the oniony layers of the rotten story start to be peeled away revealing that nothing is as rosy as the neighbors would like to believe. Clever editing of the ever changing versions of stories by the different characters provides an often humorous, quick paced, entertaining film that in the end leaves you questioning where the facade ends and the truth really begins.
I decided to watch the movie with English subtitles after I read the other comment, and I disagree with the claim that the movie is not well translated into English. Yes, there are many idioms peculiar to Turkish but they are translated quite well and the plot is so universal that anyone in the world can easily understand and enjoy this movie. I was in Turkey when the movie was first released however I haven't heard of it until I saw in on DVD, since it possibly was not well advertised due to financial issues but the cast and the plot is really spectacular, and well directed. As a person seen almost each and every Turkish movie made for the last 5 years, this is possibly one of the best five and in my point of view it can also compete in the international area. Not that surprising in the end but you'll love it if you loved Usual Suspects or if you're fond of detective movies.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Firstly, this is a very unlucky movie. Don't misunderstand me! Actually it's a great movie, however it's very very underestimated also. There are two reason for that: 1- It took pressure from government in turkey before it began to play. 2- It isn't understood. For example, even most of people who have watched the movie and loved it don't understand who is the killer. It has a very heavy plot. First reason of the underestimation of the movie lead us to state fascism theme of the movie. Second reason lead us not only everyday fascism but also (and because of first one) state fascism. I'd like to say one more thing: We can read the theories of Foucault from the line spaces of the scenario. Power relations (goverment, pressure, Turkish word of "iktidar" contain the meaning of all of these) are in everywhere. In the state, in the school, sexual relations, in the family, in the neighborhood and (surely) in the examination room of a police station. **************************************Spoiler: I must turn the real question of the movie because you can't understand things I wrote if I don't answer that question. Answer: The killer of Spiky girl(Kirpi)is the police! For this reason censure committee tried to obstruct the broadcasting of the movie.Okay, how can we find the killer from the movie? Name of the movie is 9. There are 8 people (except the police) in the examination room. Mom 1, Stationer 2, American man 3, Greengrocer 4, Ex-fiancée 5, Photo Firuz 6, Tunç 7, Kaya 8, ? 9. Who is the 9th person? Where did the necklace (of Yiddish symbol)come from? Why did they (the police) stop recording before they beat and torture Kaya and made him confess the crime and sign ? If we don't answer these, we can't find the killer. Remember the words of Firuz: " If you want, all things could have lived in a different manner." Tunç prefer to confess (or do) the crime because he didn't want his nationalist (and praised) dad (the butcher) have known he had f*Cked Firuz. Firuz (who possibly knew the real killer) prefer to agree the accusation of murder because he want that nobody have known his homosexuality (and his love to Kaya)so he made up a different story about the murder with the police along the movie (and the reason of the pain he felt while he was sitting on his ass is not his regret!) and he tried to save Kaya from accusations while he was doing that. Salim the stationer (who possibly knew the real killer) panicked and told a lot of things because he tried to save Kaya (because he is his real father). American is an "other" and all neighborhood could accuse him for this crime. American and Salim are afraid of the reactions of the neighborhood (because one of them is an ex-communist and a cheater while other one is a foreigner) and they are easily persuaded to hide somethings for the possibility to continue their lives in the neighborhood. And Spiky is an "other" too and all neighborhood (Mom, grocer etc.)hate her and would like to kill her. But there is a video tape Firuz had recorded so suspects are Kaya, Firuz and Tunç. At the end of the examinations of the neighborhood, the police succeeded to make people accuse each other, make up false stories and agree the accusation. Finally, the police tortured Kaya (who don't want to agree the "confession"), made up the "necklace story" so he signed. 9th is Spiky (Kirpi) who had been killed by the police (or us!) in the examination room of the police office. And the last question: Why we (or the police) killed Spiky? Katil polis! **********************************Spolier
Something is too different tahn how it is seen. You can understand the
event only by going too deep, but you can face something you dislike.
An ordinary,lover class town in Istanbul and a murder affair happens. And than with the aid of 6 characters we enter into the event.
I think this is one of the most wonderful Turkish movies in last years. And this film has been sent for Oscar change from Turkey this year. I think everybody should see this film to understand real power of cinema without colofful scenes and special effects.
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