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This is a story of two legendary men, Karagoz and Hacivat, who lived and died by their sense of humor. Bursa, 1330. A an ancient, crowded Roman city at the border of Byzantium. Changed hands 4 years ago and the small Ottoman tribe is just being transformed as a local state, on the remains of the old Eastern Roman Empire. The story takes place in an unrecorded period time, the last 2 months in the lives of two legendary Turkish stand-up comedians, Karagoz & Hacivat? They lived and died during the first clashes of the decaying Eastern Roman Empire and the first Ottomans of the 14th century Anatolia. Their stories and characters are adapted for traditional shadow theatre of the later Ottoman Empire, in modern Turkey and all over the Middle-East, Greece, and western Asia. Their legend and the truth about their tragic deaths are twisted and distorted, although their stingy humor still lingers on. After the the leader of the growing tribe of Ottomans, Orhan Gazi, notices the talents of two ... Written by
"Karagoz Hacivat Neden Olduruldu" is Akay and Kazak's take of the legendary personalities Karagoz and Hacivat who are the main characters of Turkish shadow theater. Although their life stories are not known, Akay and Kazak tell a very plausible story that could easily be true. True or not, their story fits exactly what they symbolize - the synthesis of crude and sophisticated humor freely targeting dishonesty, corruption, unfairness and inequality in society.
The setting is the early 14th century, when Byzantian and Seljuk Empires were in shambles following the destructive Mongolian invasion. At the Muslim/Christian borderlands, and out of the reach of the now weakening Mongolian power, the Ottoman State is at its infancy, rapidly expanding at the expense of the neighboring Byzantian and Turkish principalities. Since the cultural homogenization is not as fast as military conquests, a colorful, eclectic intermixing of cultures is underway. This is the perfect breeding ground for the elements Akay seems to take his inspirations from, and he weaves them into his story so masterfully.
Ezel Akay seems to reach his maturity at a very early stage. With his second movie, he already has a signature style and an efficient formula to make the audience laugh and cry with only a snap of a finger. He has absolute emotional control over the audience, thanks to his masterful use of visuals and music.
He also owes a lot to Haluk Bilginer (Karagoz), who is an acting genius. (His talents seem to include Mongolian throat singing if my ears did not deceive me). Beyazit Öztürk (Hacivat) is not as talented an actor, but he is the wisest choice for the role. Another good casting is Güven Kirac as the villain. He has such a wide acting range, he gave me the impression that he could have played almost all the roles in the movie.
Like Akay's earlier movie 'Neredesin Firuze', the music is outstanding
Central Asian Turko-Mongolian tunes yet to be "contaminated" by
Middle Eastern influences, beginning to clash with already eclectic Eastern Roman-Judaic melodies. The dynamic synthetic nature of the music parallels with the cultural synthesis what early Ottoman state and society building is all about.
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