April 14, 2013

Araf - Something In Between (2012)

Araf - Something In Between (2012)
Directed by: Yesim Ustaoglu
Country: Turkey / France / Germany

Review: Yesim Ustaoglu’s fifth film “Somewhere In Between” is a heavy drama that depicts the story of Zehra and Olgun, two friends who work together in a cafeteria. Their dream is to leave the city forever in order to flee from their depressing home environments. Olgun doesn’t hide his love for Zehra and makes plans for a future together, but things won’t be as expected. She had started a relationship with a truck driver, seeing him as a great opportunity to escape from her cheerless life. The film adopts a contemplative pace in the same line of Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s works, but it runs for too long by trying to describe many aspects around the characters, some of them irrelevant. Close friends, family, and city landscapes, were portrayed with a wonderful light and photography, but I found myself struggling against the sleepy tone that was being exhibited. This ambience changed radically in the final 30 minutes, when the quietness was abandoned for despair, violence, tragic revelations, and some creepy moments. After an overextended first part, Ustaoglu tried to shake our senses all at once, but left me indisposed rather than impressed. “Somewhere in Between” revealed strong technical aspects but I cannot say this is an enjoyable trip. It wasn't solidly satisfactory, but also not entirely bad, I would say… something in between!

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