Thursday, November 6, 2014

İklimler (Climates) (2006)

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Writer:    Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Cast:       Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ebru Ceylan, Nazan Kesal
Language: Turkish

A dowdy university professor Isa is an inattentive husband to his younger, TV-business wife Bahar. Self-absorbed and selfish, Isa only communicates in the most rudimentary way, while she, similarly, detaches into crying jags and juvenile behavior.

The real life couple of the director and his wife plays the roles of Isa and Bahar in the film. It starts off when they are on vacation in a beach-town during the summer. The break-up happens over there with Isa returning to Istanbul and Bahar moving to Eastern Turkey for her TV project. Lonely Isa gets into a relationship with Serap, who seems to have more in common with him than Bahar, and we are led to believe that their relationship have a prior history. Isa then goes back to Eastern Turkey during the winter in order to make a final attempt to get back with Bahar and it seems both of them are still not sure about what they want.

Out of the three films of Ceylan that I have watched so far, Climates is the one that makes you reminisce most about Antonioni films. Like L'Avventura, it begins with a couple on a vacation over the course of which they get separated. Film is shot exquisitely and much of it is conveyed by expressions and subtle gestures. There are many instances where audience is deceived by the imagery and scene edits. There is one long continuous shot of a sex scene which begins as a rape that reminded me of 'A History of Violence'. 

Like Antonioni films, it might not be suitable to everyone's taste but I loved it. Antonioni leaves the audience to figure out everything by pure observation whereas Ceylan uses dialog also to convey what is going on through the actors' minds. Having said that, I found that some of what they were saying were not exactly what I was figuring out based on the gestures. I don't know whether this is intentional from the director, but the deceptions based on mirrors, edits etc would suggest that. Ceylan's films are highly recommended for fans of Michelangelo Antonioni. 

Rating: 5/5