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Envy (2009)
"Kiskanmak" (original title)

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It's the 1930s. The Republic Day Ball is in progress in Zonguldak, a coal mining town in Turkey. Among the invited guests are the newcomers to this small and boring town: Halit, an engineer... See full summary »



(screenplay), (novel)
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Credited cast:
Serhat Tutumluer
Nergis Öztürk
Bora Cengiz
Hasibe Eren
Ferda Isil
Reyhan Ilhan
Mustafa Uzunyilmaz
Serdar Orçin
Nihal G. Koldas
Hakan Salinmis
Rafi Emeksiz
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sule Demirel


It's the 1930s. The Republic Day Ball is in progress in Zonguldak, a coal mining town in Turkey. Among the invited guests are the newcomers to this small and boring town: Halit, an engineer; his gorgeous wife Mükerrem, and Halit's sister and unwanted household member Seniha. During the ball Seniha realizes she would be the one who determines the destiny of beauty. Written by Anonymous

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6 November 2009 (Turkey)  »

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Envy  »

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A review for those who have read the book
11 August 2010 | by (Türkiye) – See all my reviews

Nahid Sırrı Örik's "Kıskanmak" is bound to be a difficult work of art to put on the silver screen because "Jealousy" could be one of those novels that have no decent main characters with whom you can associate yourself. In Örik's novels, the women are mostly narcissist people driven by their carnal desires while attractive men who bear feminine physical features do not necessarily have virile qualities that a patriarchal society would approve of. In that sense a movie adaptation from a novel by Örik should be interesting but is it indeed?

Zekir Demirkubuz's movie is more or less loyal to the book. The movie is set in early 1930's Zonguldak , a port on the Black Sea, which is the center of the major coal-producing region of Turkey. Mükerrem, beautiful young lady of 25 (Berrak Tüzünataç) is married to Halit (Serhat Tutumluer) an engineer of 40 at the local coal mine. Seniha (Nergis Öztürk) is, in her own words, the "dried-up,ugly spinster" sister of Halit who has been living with his brother since their parents passed away. Since there is a major age difference between the couple and their marriage does not have the first honeymoon passion Seniha knows that her sister in law will someday cheat on her husband and she will use that for her own interests when the right time comes.

Someone who has not read the novel would probably not understand why Mükerrem should cheat on her husband with whom she is –ostensibly-happily married. Besides why should an unmarried sister be jealous of her brother's happiness? The movie does not really give clear-cut answers to what is already there on the book. Demirkubuz says "I racked my brains about the concept of ugliness. I wondered how beauty was seen from the eyes of the 'ugly'." Let me just put it that way. Nahid Sırrı wants us to think that Seniha is an ugly, unmarried woman.In fact,he does not openly tell us that she is ugly. Ugliness is more like "a self-concept" on behalf of Seniha. In the novel, it is duly noted that Seniha has charming eyes and it's told that Nüzhet ( with whom Mükerrem cheats on her husband) hits on Seniha once. Moreover it is clear that if his brother tried hard enough he could definitely find a husband for her sister.

Seniha is a "femme-fatale" not because she is alluring or seductive but because of the 'self-perception' she has and the way her family treats her. In the movie, you can clearly notice the lack of communication between the siblings but it does not really tell you why Seniha just hates his brother. Though her parents send her brother abroad for a substantial engineering education, they never consider the feelings of Seniha when it comes to her education. When she falls in love with a suitor, her family does not ever think of marrying their daughter just because any expense (any dowry) means less money to be sent to the brother. Later on, they try to marry her off to a widower who has three kids already. Without knowing that, in the movie it sounds like Seniha has always been the 'bitch' in the family. Seniha never talks about profound details of her life to anyone. In the movie, she tells Mükerrem how she lost her virginity for instance (which is a changed detail by the way.) What makes Seniha mysterious is the way we know about her through the omniscient point of view but we know that this view is more or less Seniha's point of view so the movie could have used voice-over either through Mükerrem or Seniha.

There is no catchy acting in the movie except Nergis Öztürk's performance. She plays the ugly femme fatale as well as she can. However, there is no music to support the mystery of the character. Demirkubuz thinks music and cinema are in an abusive marriage in today's cinema and he refrains from using scores even for such a movie in which the psychology of the leading character is important.

To make the long story short, Zeki DemirKubuz's movie is just a damp squib for those who have enjoyed the book. Though the plot is more or less loyal, the acting and the cinematography are not good enough to catch the psychological ambiance of the book. The soundtrack is barely existent. The only thing that the movie does better than the book is the 'bed'.Though Örik wrote a story of 'sex and psychotic jealousy' he never talks about the 'bed' openly.

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