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"Such is the appearance of semiconsciousness that one wonders how much of the 'message' of television is getting through to the brain."
Kanalizasyon sounds like a screwball comedy in which characters are charmingly silly and unreasonable in a funny way.Though it does look like another bit of fluff from the Turkish cinema-which has been bogged down in comedy potboilers over the last ten years-the way it questions TV in our life sounds quite interesting.The social aspects of television have always been a major bone of contention since its inception.Though its role in shaping the concept of propriety and appropriateness has always been questioned, the television world has never been properly evaluated. In Kanal-i-zasyon (literally "an underground conduit for carrying off drainage water and waste matter") Imdat-a blue collar employee-(Okan Bayülgen)is a television addict. He makes his living by cleaning the windows of a skyscraper in which a TV-channel named "Kanal-i" is located. Whenever Imdat reaches the windows of the TV chairman's office, he does not neglect to watch a bit of TV. The chairman Berk( Hakan Yilmaz) is about to face the sack if he can't improve the ratings in a month. By chance,the chairman realizes that Imdat,the window cleaner watches the programs which get the highest ratings. Though the chairman finds these programs tasteless,kitsch and uncouth he exploits Imdat's personal likings to score the ratings. Like I said in the beginning, the whole movie is developed like a screwball comedy. The characters are silly,the plot is not reasonable, the acting is not convincing but maybe this was actually what Alper Mestçi tried to do to question the role of TV. Today, no matter what some people think, many bland TV programs get so high ratings,moreover they evoke imitative response from the other mainstream channels and all these imitative programs bring out imitative social reactions,especially among the youth.They try to talk like TV characters, they associate themselves with TV lives that they can't stop living without TV. Though parents do not seem to be happy with what's going on with their kids at first, they too create a world of "short-time happiness" for themselves. In the past,teachers used to be concerned with TV's changing the norms of social propriety but today even they started to talk about stupid soap operas in the teacher's lounge. So,Kanal-i-zasyon may not be a perfect comedy for some, it may not even be an entertaining movie for others.In spite of all that, it has an important social message which should not be underestimated. Give it a chance.You may just like it.
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