A Camus-esque, Kafkaesque debut by Tolga Karaçelik
"Gişe Memuru" tells the story of Kenan, introverted and self-absorbed toll booth officer who commutes between his home and the toll booth plaza he works in as a public officer. Kenan is 35 and he's still single. He live with his father. His father, as cantankerous as he sometimes can be, is a towering figure over Kenan's self-confidence and sense of adequacy. Kenan is known as someone who keeps it to himself but he is good at what he does, he collects more tolls than any other officer.Unfortunately, Kenan has his own idiosyncrasies like every one but his temperamental peculiarity, talking to himself is the only way Kenan makes up for what he has not actually achieved. In his imaginary talk, Kenan rehashes his past, settles old scores with his crotchety old man, who has just been getting grumpier and grumpier since his wife's death. When the the new operations chief in the plaza assigns Kenan to a secluded toll booth because of his ever-increasing talking to himself, he tends to withdraw himself more and more.An isolated toll booth surrounded by sun flower fields, an idyllic picturesque ambiance causes Kenan's imagination to ride free. He imagines that a woman who happens to pass through the booth at the same every day is bound to be the one who can set him free from the world he has been entangled in. Things actually can be a little more complicated than he assumes... Kenan will surely remind you of Yazgı's Musa (Zeki Demirkubuz) and Kafka's Gregor Samsa. The fact that Tolga Karacelik adds some dark humour into this existentialist piece of art prevents it from being just another rendering. Moreover,Kenan's surreal distortion of facts and senseless, disorienting habit of talking to himself in his seeking for ever-elusive freedom is perfectly portrayed by Serkan Ercan. Indeed, he deserved the best actor award in Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival. Let's hope we will see more epochal movies by Tolga Karacelik, which will travel into the unchartered territorial genres of Turkish cinema.
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