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Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Subtle Masterpiece, 23 July 2009
This review is from: Climates [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I cannot recommend this film highly enough.
Extraordinarily beautiful photography compliment a story told at a pace which allows the viewer to absorb the rich details. There is an intense effort to capture the elusive quality of realizations which are being sensed in a confused present. Very often we see dramas where relationships are being tested with elevated intensities - the struggle to change or remain unchanged. It's less common to see characters struggle quietly with a dawning awareness that there is a bankruptcy in their affection.

A couple, Bahar and her older partner Isa while on vacation in a coastal town in Turkey, face the subtle, though painful dissolution of their relationship. At the core of the story is the inability to function in a union either from one's own emotional atrophy, or because one has outgrown the relationship, but can't see it yet. The actors play this out with great sympathy avoiding simple answers. Little happens in terms of action, but both characters move forward definitively with their lives, their key choices often outpacing their awareness.

Of note is a small performance by Nazan Kirilmis who plays Serap, one of Isa's former lovers back in Istanbul. While her presence in the film is brief, it's terrific casting, sharpening the film's quiet tone and adding a small flash of fire to the story. Not only does this aid in the films dynamic structure, it helps to clarify Isa's ambivalence, grounding Bahar's pain in real terms. The performances by the two lead actors are also remarkable since they are played by the filmmaker and his wife.

I've watched the film several times, marveling at the storytelling economy, the photography and the performances.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Aug 2013, 21:28:52 BST
Mike K says:
Interesting comments on the structure of the film in your review although I don't fully share your enthusiasm for it - the ending was a disappointment for me.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Aug 2013, 01:20:02 BST
maciora says:
I read your review - I think I understand where you are coming from - we will probably have to agree to disagree on the ending!
I felt that while Isa is written as the protagonist, he's also the one with the most difficult problem to address; he's immature in a faintly misogynist quality typical of older conservative cultures, he remains blandly unaware of how self-centred he is and totally oblivious and uninterested in what Bahar (or any woman) actually needs. Serap is using him as much as he is using her - she finds him to be an amusing lay as well as the hapless dolt who has done much to doom his relationship with Bahar - it's what makes him interesting (to me, I guess).

In the end, when Isa has chased her down in the far-off film location, she is at first confronted with how much she actually needs and how much bitter disappointment she has endured with Isa. The difference is that she's grown and learned something important about herself.. Isa hasn't. He remains a self-centred, sad-sack and wants her back to cater to his brittle empty self. She won't - I found that satisfying.

I loved the accurate tone of bitterness at the end. I also liked how the imagery is very Tarkovskian in that it is bled of simple symbolic reading. It felt very much about the people and place, not a travelogue in the service of a writer's structural or philosophical agenda.
Thanks for reading my post and taking the time to comment!
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Location: Burbank, CA United States

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