on 23 August 2014
Set somewhere in Turkey, in an undisclosed town close to a frontier, 'Kosmos' opens with an eccentric and seemingly disturbed individual making his way down a snowy mountainside to the down-at-heel community below. Initially arresting, the film captures the attention as he plucks an apparently drowned boy from a fast flowing river and seems to revive him thereby gaining the gratitude of the townspeople and achieving an almost mythic status as miracle worker. Nevertheless, the central character is not so straightforward as he seems and his refusal to do an honest day's work in return for the hospitality of the locals combined with his wayward behaviour do not meet with approval.
So far so good... but as the film continues, although intentionally other-worldly, it begins to raise more questions than it answers and a sense of direction is lost. Why are the army engaged in seemingly endless military manoeuvres on the fringes of the town? Who are the people across the border? What is the significance of the spate of thefts that is depicted? The smart answer to these questions, no doubt, is that there is an allegorical explanation and that this is a film which calls into question conventional ways of life and our fear of 'otherness' represented by outsiders. However, so much uncertainty both here and in other areas of its narrative begins to become a distraction and the wild ululating cries that the lead character shares with the sister of the boy whom he rescued become a source of annoyance rather than of great spiritual communion. And as the film ultimately takes us back to where we began, I must confess to thinking, "Is that it?"
on 1 August 2015
One of the other reviews says "unique", but I would dispute that. It is fairly standard Arthouse cliché stuff - weird outsider arrives without explanation in insular community, wanders about performing miracles, has sex with depressed / repressed woman, acts a bit animalistic and "shouty". There is a mute child performing acts of violence, repeated close up shots of animals in a slaughterhouse and a minor subplot about some brothers driving about in a car with their dead father in a coffin on the roof rack.
I am not entirely negative about it though. It was unfathomable, but I like that in a film. And as someone who has never visited a Turkish mountain town, I found it quite interesting visually, in a travel documentary sort of way.
It is the sort of film that passed a couple of hours, but I wont be searching out the director's other works.
on 3 July 2013
This is a marvellous, under rated film that should be seen by everybody. Don't be put off by the fact that its not in English,and although it has subtitles I think it could but enjoyed even if it was a silent film.
It's one of those films in which you, the watcher, need to participate by using the clues to make the story up to some degree. This was brought home to me when discussing it with friends afterwards, all of whom loved it, it was very interesting to learn that a few of them had had a very differnt take on it to my own.
on 3 July 2013
Very interesting film, a little unusual but well worth watching. I was told about this film by a Turkish friend and I would recommend it highly, especially to students of Turkish like myself looking for something to watch to improve their language skills, tired of Turkish television and having already exhausted the most universally popular Turkish films. Even as a film, not just a Turkish one, this is extremely watch-able.