11 October 2008 | bignaco
Hit and Miss in this Slice of Turkey
I call it a "slice of Turkey" for two reasons. One: It's a genuine slice of Turkish life, albeit an extreme area thereof. Almost the entire film takes place in a section of Istanbul inhabited by the downtrodden, illegal immigrants and crazies. The director apparently has a warm place in his heart for this area and wanted to show it to the world. In that regard he was most successful. He also shows some promise as a director evidenced by the fact that he worked with mostly non-professional actors and got some decent, realistic performances from them. On the down side, the film suffers from it's own "art". A film is essentially a vehicle for entertainment and it seems that artistry rarely mixes well with entertainment. Art is something to be observed and appreciated and film is something to be observed and appreciated AND to take you inside of it. This film doesn't really take the viewer inside. There are far too many long, slow moments that distract from absorbing the audience rather than make them feel a part of the film. Most of the independent films I've seen of late have suffered from the same symptoms, so Mr. Pirselimoglu is certainly not alone and many reviewers would forgive him for this and indeed some (mostly French people, I suspect) would give laud to him for these pauses. The one "error" I do think is somewhat unforgivable is in his making Riza an essentially unlikable protagonist. We are given many reasons to feel sorry for Riza and to like him despite himself but then, halfway through the film, he does something that makes you hate him. It was something that might have had to happen to keep the film moving but there were so many ways the director could have done this and still made us like Riza. However, I got the point where I was hoping for Riza's violent end. That was the real tragedy of this film-goer's experience. That said, I do think this film had a lot to say and it said it with style. I really hope to see a more engrossing film from Tayfun Pirselimoglu in the future because I think he has a significant talent.