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Three Monkeys [DVD] [2008]

3.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Yavuz Bingol, Hatice Aslan, Ahmet Rifat Sungar, Ercan Kesal, Cafer Köse
  • Directors: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
  • Writers: Ercan Kesal, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ebru Ceylan
  • Producers: Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Cemal Noyan, Fabienne Vonier, Valerio De Paolis, Zeynep Ozbatur Atakan
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Turkish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Drakes Avenue
  • DVD Release Date: 6 July 2009
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0029X41LA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,337 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan's film tells the story of a family blown apart by lies and non-communication. When Servet (Ercan Kesal), a politician involved in a car accident, asks his driver Eyup (Yavoz Bingol) to take the rap - a short jail sentence - in return for a financial reward, the driver's wife Hacer (Hatice Aslan) and teenage son Ismail (Ritaf Sungar) are inevitably affected by Eyup's decision to take the money. Wishing to help her son, Hacer approaches Servet for an advance, and soon gets more involved with him than she bargained for. Before long, all four characters find themselves trapped in a tangled web of guilt and deceit...

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Nuri Bilge Ceylan is quickly becoming my favourite all time director. He deals in subtle tensions, stark, slow and intriguing camera shots a la Tarkovsky (but the shots don't strike one as elegaic as Tarkovsky, partly because Nuri Bilge Ceylan doesn't use a lot of camera movement) and incredible focus, plot-wise, on the problems of the 21st Century.

In this film it seems that the ingredients are all pulling perfectly in the same direction. A husband takes the fall for his politician friend and is jailed while his friend is voted in. His son provides the contrast to how the younger generation reacts and understands the father's situation. The wife then has an illicit affair with the politician friend while her husband is in jail. As with Uzak, the characters' actions, along with their psychic twists and turns, are moulded slowly and thoughtfully (not to everyone's taste I admit) and the film looks starker and more thriller-like, image-wise, than Uzak was.

Three Monkeys also acts as a great analysis of political denial, and I like the way that it intertwines the personal and the political in taking on an analysis and criticism of the family as a whole. The title also intrigues... are these three characters simply animals who have evolved in order to play dumb about themselves and each other? Is it a metaphor for the corruption of Turkish politics and Turkish culture? The movie is deep enough to probe these questions in their fundamental and universal aspects though, which, I think, a good piece of art should strive to do.

All in all, the question of political denial, political will and political risk-taking all seem to me to be very intriguing human problems in 2009, and, under Bilge Ceylan's subtle and engaging direction, make for a stunning and illuminating statement.
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By L. Davidson VINE VOICE on 14 Sept. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Uzak" was a particular favourite film of mine and I've watched all of Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan's films since that. None of them have really bettered "Uzak" however including this film. Like the films of Hungarian director Bela Tarr,you really have to be in the mood to watch Ceylan's films as they are slow moving, downbeat and filled with long periods of silence. "Three Monkeys" is no exception. The story is about a driver who serves a prison sentence on behalf of his politician employer in return for a generous lump sum payment. However while he is in jail,his wife has an affair with the politician which her teenage son finds out about. When the husband comes out of prison,he realises something isn't quite right,but nobody's talking and things get out of hand. None of the characters in the film are very likeable and they're all pretty much bad eggs. This film is set in Istanbul and the cinematography is very good. The story is intriguing,but not compelling. I thought "Three Monkeys" was a decent enough film,but Nuri Bilge Ceylan's films are definitely an acquired taste.
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I was hooked by this film. It's a compelling story: a selfish flight from personal responsibility forms the seed for a thin vine of desire which eventually cracks the foundations of a working class family. The casting and performances are first rate - Hatice Aslan as the wife and mother, wields a striking, classical beauty and maintains a haunted presence. The film revolves around and rests on her complex ambivalence.

As much as I love the film and wish to celebrate Mr. Ceylan's familiar, gorgeous imagery, I believe that the images themselves raised more questions with the occasionally overwrought visual touches than helped to serve the film. This is a more arresting-looking film than either "Distant" or "Climates." Mr. Ceylan's typically stripped-down narrative is well served by his flawless photographer's eye for composition - his pacing is perfect, echoing the authority of a master like Abbas Kairostami.

However, in a few instances the manner in which filters/post-production/visual effects were used I found distracting. In a lesser filmmaker, or one whose stories are less contemplative one could ignore these touches. In this story it made the narrative feel perhaps less important than the images. Or there was less concern about the tale than taking certain risks with the images. Whatever the reason, I fell out of the story at those moments, noticing the filmmaker manipulating the image, albeit to create something remarkable. I don't wish to imply that these rare moments ruined a great film; simply that it made me care less.

All this points to a more complicated discussion about photographing emotional states and capturing that indefinable, relational electricity between characters, which ultimately is very personal. On it's own terms, "Three Monkeys" remains a powerful film and stylistic risks aside, I've enjoyed watching it several times.
I highly recommend it.
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Ceylan's film, 'Three Monkeys' (Uc Maymun)starts with a stronger sense of narrative than his other films, 'Climates' and 'Uzak' since it presents a tired politician, Servet, driving along a road at night and inadvertently killing a pedestrian who steps into the road. Shocked by what he has done, but also fearful of the implications for his political career, he leaves the scene of the accident making it a hit-and-run then phones his employee, Eyup, and persuades him to accept responsibility and serve time in prison. In return, Eyup's family will continue to receive his salary and Eyup will be given a large pay-off. Under the misapprehension that the money will benefit his family, Eyup accepts.

The focus then shifts to Eyup's family and we see how things go badly awry when the mother, Hacer, approaches Servet for an advance on the payment to try to help her failing teenage son, but also begins an affair with him which ultimately has dire consequences.

The film is partially effective with the down-at-heel Istanbul neighbourhood in which it is set, overlooking the Bosphorus, helping to create a brooding sense of melancholy, but it also seems monotonous at times since the dialogue is insufficiently developed and Ceylan shows a penchant for lingering excessively on shots of individuals at the expense of pace and genuine dramatic interest.
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