Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
Original title: Uc Maymun
Turkey/France/Italy, 2008. Zeynofilm, NBC Film, Pyramide Productions, BIM Distribuzione, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Conseil de l’Europe, Imaj Sound Post Production, Imaj, Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Screenplay by Ebru Ceylan, Ercan Kesal, Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Cinematography by Gokhan Tiryaki. Produced by Zeynep Ozbatur Atakan. Production Design by Ebru Ceylan. Film Editing by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ayhan Ergürsel, Bora Goksingol. Cannes Film Festival 2008. National Board of Review Awards 2009. Toronto International Film Festival 2008.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan moves towards genre with a tense thriller involving human loyalty and fear. After a driver takes the fall for a politician’s culpability in a hit and run accident, his time in prison means that his wife and son are left behind to get by without him, financially supported by his boss but still vulnerable without his protection. The son begins to have trouble with violence from gang members he is involved with, while the wife starts up an affair with her benefactor, all of it boiling to an explosive conclusion. Ceylan is a master of film technique, and the performances here are stunning, but there’s none of the resonance of his better films and the figures are merely empty shells.