Two Turkish anti-terrorist agents are sent to New York City on a mission to find and bring back the dangerous Islamic leader codenamed "Dajjal", believed to be hiding in there. Working with...
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Two Turkish anti-terrorist agents are sent to New York City on a mission to find and bring back the dangerous Islamic leader codenamed "Dajjal", believed to be hiding in there. Working with the FBI and NYPD, the agents orchestrate the arrest of Hadji Gumus, a well-respected Muslim scholar and family man who years before fled to the United States after being released from a Turkish prison, where he served time for murder. This tale love, friendship, peace and prejudices, takes us on a journey seeking to answer the question of whether innocence or guilt even matters to one who lusts for vengeance.Written by
(at around 11 mins) When praying in congregation by the East River (at Kent Street, Brooklyn, to be exact), they're facing Southeast, whereas the Qiblah direction in NYC is towards the Northeast. (58 degrees East of geographic North, to be exact.) See more »
Some video releases, like the U.K. Blu-ray version, contain a shorter version, running only 102 minutes and missing circa 15 minutes from the theatrical version. See more »
good intentions,meaningful scenes vs. wooden acting,cardboard cut-out characters and formulaic,gooey storyline
Let's face it. Whenever there is an overt pre-screening hype surrounding a Turkish movie which will possibly get a box-office success we either idolize the movie or we just anathematize it. As of today, out of the 1644 voters here on IMDb 921 voters (56.0%) rated this movie '10'. Guess which number of rating has the best percentage after ten? '1'. When a careful devotee of motion pictures rummages through reviews on the net, he/she will notice that those who love the movie do not (maybe can't) really expatiate on why they just loved the movie, and those who hate the movie turn their review into a blatant personality thing about Mahsun Kırmızıgül. At this point,alas, it goes without saying that Turkish voters again made IMDb lose its objectivity and genuineness.Many foreign IMDb followers do already know that Turkish voters have already manipulated votes for many Turkish movies (as in "The Breath" and Valley of the Wolves.)I guess this is the perfect example of an expression that I caught from a friend :'masturbatory nationalism' Let me write about the movie and clarify what I exactly mean.Five Minarets in New York takes its name from a well-known folk song in Turkish. Though the the name of the movie actually does not have much to do with the title,there are actually five historical mosques in the city of Bitlis which is located in eastern Turkey (mostly populated by Kurds and it is the director's hometown actually.)Potential leader of a radical Islamic terror organization, Deccal (Antichrist) against whom Interpol issued a red notice has been taken into custody in USA. Since he has not committed any crime in US land he is supposed to be handed over to the Turkish authorities. Two successful anti-terror Turkish policemen Fırat (Mahsun Kırmızgül) and Acar (Mustafa Sandal) have been charged with fetching the convict.In the beginning of the movie, when I saw the anti-terror armed clash,awe-inspiring dhikr scenes made by the religious sect that that police infiltrated I have to admit that I was impressed. Then the two police officers flew to USA and met the agent Becker (Robert Patrick)the first thing that the detective Acar asks 'You have been to Iraq for the oil or for the freedom of Iraqi people?' reveals the immutable nature of another Kırmızgül movie: 'didactics'. This is third movie that has received enough box-office success and I thought he would give up on preaching his message in such an overt way. Kırmızıgül may have good intentions but he should just stop turning his movies into a sort of 'message mania'. This,so to speak,insults the intellects of Turkish cineastes. The man whom the two Turkish detectives are supposed to fetch Haji (Haluk Bilginer- The Turk (Ahmet Sunay) of the movie 'The International') sounds like a peaceful Muslim leader who opposes violence and tries to show the tolerant face of Islam but I suppose the movie-makers mistake tolerance for insubstantiality and lightness. When you mistake tolerance for political correctness, you just run the risk of becoming untruthful. Haji's wife Maria (Gina Gershon) is a Christian and Haji is perfectly OK with that because he thinks all roads lead to Allah. Islamic point of view on interfaith marriage is clear;A Muslim who weds a non-Muslim woman cannot adopt the religion of his spouse. In case he does, the non-Muslim risks apostasy.She is supposed to convert to the Islam. Haji repeatedly quotes Rumi but let's not forget even Rumi's Christian wife changed her religion to marry him. What else? Haji does not mind his daughter's living with her fiancé out of wedlock but an American agent enters a mosque with his shoes on that's sheer blasphemy-is it-? Especially if he is an agent who lost his brother in the debris of Twin Towers? Tant mieux for the preaching cut-and-dried art of cinema-making! The veteran actor Haluk Bilginer has always been brilliant on the screen and there is no doubt that his performance is laudable again but the character he plays,Haji is not really an inspirational one. He quotes Rumi (and some other Islamic scholars) but he does not really say anything new, not anything that any Muslim layman doesn't know about. Our guy is a terrorist at one moment, later on he is someone whom everyone calls 'the best man I've ever known'.Perforce or by intention this is really awkward for a movie in which there is no character arc. Plus, dialogs are quite poor in the movie. For instance, when Haji was taken into custody to be interrogated, his longtime friend Marcus (Danny Glover) says "But they are making a big mistake. I have known him for thirty years" like that does count in his legal favor. To cut a long story short, I did go to this movie by setting aside any unfairly prejudicial views or any preconceived publicity and unfortunately I realized that Kırmızgül did not give up on his 'message mania'. He even turned this into a habit. I know he has had good intentions and I hope such intentions will give better movies to the Turkish film industry. I do sincerely hope that the box office success he has had with three movies won't lead him to make more movies like this. Otherwise Turkish movies will continue to get screenings only in those countries where Turkish Gastarbeiter live(like Belgium,Germany and Austria.) For now, the news that this movie will get screenings in 120 countries is no more than a dream while the internationally acclaimed Avatar got screenings in less than 90 countries.One last note for the real movie aficionados : If you want to see the tolerant face of Islam, if you want to see that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism, keep in mind there are way better movies out there like Bab'Aziz, Le Grand Voyage and My Name's Khan. 18/11/2010
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