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WEEK AT THE MOVIES: Cameron returns with 'Avatar'

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 12/17/2009 12:00:00 AM | Emrah Güler

Get ready for the most anticipated movie of the year, “Avatar,” marking James Cameron’s return after 12 years.

Get ready for the most anticipated movie of the year, “Avatar,” marking James Cameron’s return after 12 years. In other releases of the week, two films by Turkish female directors make their debut: İlksen Başarır’s unique love story, “Başka Dilde Aşk” (Love in Another Language) and Yeşim Sezgin’s romantic comedy, “Süpürrr!” (Sweep). The Turkish black comedy “Vavien” will please fans of the directing duo the Taylan Brothers, while “Acı Aşk” (Love, Bitter) is the weakest of this week’s releases.

[HH] Acı Aşk / Love, Bitter

Similar to last week’s release of novelist-cum-filmmaker Tuna Kiremitçi’s “Adını Sen Koy” (You Name It), this film portrays another love triangle of the upper-middle class and is set in Eskişehir. The story of “Acı Aşk” moves from Eskişehir to Istanbul, and the love triangle becomes a love quadrangle with the leading man Orhan (Halit Ergenç) finding out the price of playing the field with three women. The film stars Songül Öden, Ezgi Asaroğlu and the beautiful but annoying Cansu Dere. Newcomer A. Taner Elhan directs, while director/writer (of “Polis/Police”) Onur Ünlü writes the script. Heralded with the tag line “What’s the most you can do for love?” the trailer promises lame a dialog.

Who should watch it? Those who get a kick out of cardboard characters and far-from-subtle cliché romances as found in a recent avalanche of Turkish TV series.

Who should avoid it? Those who cringe when hearing over-the-top lines like, “I’m asking the biggest of all questions. How far are you willing to come with me?” (The answer, of course, is “Until death.”)

[HH] Avatar

The most-anticipated film of the month – and, for some, the most-anticipated film of 2009 – comes to theaters this week everywhere around the globe. James Cameron – King of the World back in 1998 with the epic “Titanic” – returns to form following an absence from feature movies for 12 years. The trailers and the story don’t explain much of what we’re about to watch in movie theaters. Ex-Marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) goes on an expedition to find the next energy resource on the distant moon of Pandora. Sully’s DNA is unique in bonding with the alien hybrid body, the Avatar. As he infiltrates the natives of Pandora, the Na’vi, Sully finds himself falling for a native girl, Neytiri. One of the few who had the chance to watch the pre-screening, Time magazine’s Richard Corliss sums up his experience as “the most vivid and convincing creation of a fantasy world ever seen in the history of moving pictures.”

Who should watch it? Everyone who has a remote interest in movies.

Who should avoid it? Those who are averse to fantasy worlds in movies.

[HH] Başka Dilde Aşk / Love in Another Language

Newcomer Turkish director İlksen Başarır’s unique take on a love story wowed the audience and critics in the recent Golden Oranges and Bursa’s Silk Road Film Festival. Mert Fırat (he’s also the co-writer with Başarır) stars as Onur, a young deaf man who finds himself in a sweeping romance with Zeynep (Saadet Işıl Aksoy of “Yumurta/Egg” and “Süt/Milk”), a woman working in a call center. Fırat’s performance, the chemistry between the leading actors and Hayk Kirakosyan’s cinematography were among the highlights from critics. The film features veteran actress Lale Mansur as Onur’s protective mother.

Who should watch it? Those who do not want to miss the occasional Turkish film by a female director or miss an honest love story among the multitude of pretentious ones.

Who should avoid it? Those who do not want to take a risk on another love story from a Turkish director.

[HH] Süpürrr! / Sweep

One of two debut movies released this week by a Turkish female director comes in the form of a romantic comedy/sports comedy. Boy meets girl, boy wants to marry girl, girl’s father has a weird obsession to marry his daughter to a national athlete, boy begins mastering the unheard sport of curling. Director Yeşim Sezgin’s quest of training the cast to master curling and building a curling rink for the first time in Turkey made headlines during filming. Cem Kılıç plays the naïve and lovestruck Oğuz, and Başak Parlak plays the girl who has the power to kick start a curling team in Turkey.

Who should watch it? Those who enjoy sports comedies and those who want to learn what the heck curling is.

Who should avoid it? Those who have their plates full with a string of mediocre romantic comedies from Turkish cinema.

[HH] Vavien

Turkey’s answer to Wachowski or the Coen Brothers, the Taylan Brothers return to screen with their third feature. Written by actor Engin Günaydın, the movie stars Günaydın and Binnur Kaya, back together after the popular TV series “Avrupa Yakası” (The European Side). The two go against-the-trend in this black comedy about the fall of a family. Günaydın plays Celal, a man who tries finding ways of escape from his drab existence through frequenting sleazy night clubs. His wife Sevilay, meanwhile, accumulates money her father has been sending to her secretly. Things go awry when Celal finds out about the money and decides to get rid of his wife for good.

Who should watch it? Those who were impressed with the Taylan Brothers’ previous feature “Küçük Kıyamet” (The Little Apocalypse) of 2006.

Who should avoid it? Those who are not ready to see the Günaydın-Kaya duo in totally different roles than the one associated with them in the hit series, “Avrupa Yakası.”



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