Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
NYTFF ’15: Consequences
problem with off-the-books building projects is they make it dashed difficult
to come clean when trouble goes down. The same is doubly true of secret
affairs. A hot shot real estate developer, his fiancée, and his somewhat estranged
best friend will learn these truths first hand over the course of a long fateful
night of the soul in Ozan Açiktan’s Consequences
which screens during the 2015 New York Turkish Film Festival.
was once deeply involved with Ece, but he hasn’t seen her since his stints in
rehab and trying to find himself in America. He thought he could handle seeing her
again, but evidently not. She is now engaged to his old pal Faruk, who is
putting up the architectural designer in a building he is illegally renovating
in the gentrifying neighborhood of Karaköy. After an awkward meeting at Faruk’s
party, Cenk beats a hasty retreat, but Ece soon follows. It does not take long
for things to get hot and heavy, before they are inconveniently interrupted by
a pair of intruders, who turn out to be two of Faruk’s undocumented laborers.
One thing leads to another, resulting in the older man tumbling down the stairs
and cracking his head.
protect Ece, Cenk sends her off into the night, facing Faruk by himself. The
developer and his lawyer Merve quickly take charge of the situation, hoping to
minimize everyone’s exposure. It seems Faruk does not have the required permits
or even a clear title to the property. Merve also smells something fishy about
Cenk’s story, but she doesn’t have much time to worry about it. Unfortunately,
the situation escalates precipitously when the man’s companion returns with
about a dozen of his belligerent colleagues.
and his co-writers, Cem Akas and Faruk Ozerton, do a nice job keeping one
darned thing happening after another. Reportedly, the noir thriller is
under-represented in Turkish cinema, especially those that are sexually charged
to any extent, but they have crafted a distinctly stylish one. It is also rather
intriguing to speculate about its beyond-the-screen meaning in an increasingly Islamist
and less secular Turkey. On one hand, faithlessness holds potentially dire
consequences, so to speak, for the characters. Yet, we sort of get the sense
the film regrets Cenk and Ece were not able to get more sinning in before the
situation started spiraling out of control. The film also resists class
conscious interpretations, depicting the outraged workers in unflattering,
Kaleli and Nehir Erdoğan are all kinds of angsty as Cenk and Ece, respectively,
but Tardu Flordun really steals the show as the roguish Faruk. He might be insufferably
arrogant and a corrupting influence on everyone around him, but it is hard to
root against such a colorful figure. Likewise, Esra Bezen Bilgin matches him
step for step as the shrewd and cynical Merve. It is nice to see a Turkish film
that features a woman as its smartest character, by far.
Ahmet Sesigürgil’s noir cinematography looks
terrific and Açiktan perfectly captures the sketchy urban after hours vibe.
Everything about this film screams that it will end badly, but it is still
entertaining watching matters plummet from bad to worse. Recommended for fans
of assignations-gone-wrong thrillers in the Fatal
Attraction tradition, Consequences screens
this Saturday (3/28) at the SVA Theatre, as part of this year’s NY Turkish Film
Labels: NYTFF '15, Turkish Cinema