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Original But Lacks Integrity and Professional Casting
The striking quality of the movie is the originality. The striking failure is the lack of integrity. The plot is composed of five subplots unsuccessfully merged together. The actors are mostly renowned but a terrible mix: The unprofessional and insufficient bunch of the "TV-series boom" in Turkey and professional Turkish actors from the German cinema.
The plot is insufficient to say the least. The movie is composed of five intertwined subplots. However, the subplots are poorly merged; and each subplot is directed with different concerns in mind. The only common theme of the subplots is the mafia in Istanbul - that is a strong theme; however, insufficient as the only common denominator. In the "Hilmi & Senay" plot, we have (too much) drama. In the "Snowhite" plot, we have action abruptly turned to absurd fantasy. In the "Fiko & Banu" plot, we have romance. In the "hungry Kurdish man" plot, we have absurdity at its best. In the "Melek" plot we have psychology with a horrible twist. The plots intersect at absurd points, specifically the ending is unrealistic and overly dramatic in a naive way. It is not like watching subplots merging cleverly together a la Tarantino, but more like watching five different movies with only one theme in common all at the same time.
The best subplots are "Melek" and the "hungry Kurdish man." The twist in the "Melek" subplot is striking, unexpected and haunting, made stronger by professional and convincing acting of renowned Uner, and also by powerful directing. The "hungry Kurdih man" subplot, resembling Tunc Okan movies is hilarious, absurd yet believable. The other subplots are simple and shallow. "Fiko and Banu" plot is literally left incomplete: We never learn Recep's reaction to Banu! Neither do we learn the eventual fate of Idil.
The movie lacks a climax. Of course, we have a minor climax when Musa meets Saliha, and another - stronger - climax during the Melek's flashback. However, these all have a lower level of suspense than the action scenes in the beginning in the "Snowhite" plot. The suspense level is fluctuating wildly, as well as the mood: The movie jumps from action to drama, from laughter to tragedy, from harsh realism to absolute fantasy abruptly and repeatedly. This confuses the audience and distorts the integrity (or lack thereof) of the plot. It appears as if each of the subplots have been directed by a different director and bundled together hastily.
The acting is varied yet generally insufficient. There is some very professional acting alongside absolute amateur acting. Kirac fails to play the homosexual Mimi; he has essentially one gesture that he keeps repeating to remind the audience that he is acting gay: Hand raised to chin, small finger pointing upwards. Other than that, he does little to act out a convincing homosexual role. Isler, Uner and Reynaud are all very convincing, specially Reynaud's difficult character is very well acted out. Isler develops a very believable character with real emotions from a mafia bodyguard that otherwise would get little attention in the plot. (I get the impression that he wrote scripts for the character that the director forgot to write.) Rest of the characters are not presented in depth.
The movie is a nice try, and certainly original, although somehow "inspired" by "Pulp Fiction-type" of plot line. The movie also deserves attention because we have the Turkish state backing a movie including heavy profanity; we see the Turkish government beginning to adjust to the 21st century at last. However, the movie lacks integrity, lacks professional casting. (5 out of 10, and three of that comes from Isler, Uner and Reynaud.)
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