A crime drama without car chases, gun fights or the other all too familiar trappings of the genre. There's a dream-like quality to this film that mesmerizes from the opening shot of three vehicles moving through the dark roads their headlights leaving what appear to be trails of dragon fire and continues through to the nearly sound-free scene of the village mayor's young daughter serving tea. Well worth your time.
Similar to Kiarostami's tendency to take action off-screen, the storytelling style of this film is similar to Kiarostami's visual approach. A seemingly mundane trip spent one night between some policemen, a doctor, a prosecutor, and a murderer and their team to find a cadaver offers more insight on each of the character's personalities than the actual murder case that is being investigated. Superbly beautiful.
"I think the human face is the most beautiful landscape. The face tells you everything. It's the only way to get to the truth because, most of the time, the words we say are not true. We have a tendency to deceive others to protect ourselves." - Ceylan
Adore it! The movie is like if Samuel Beckett was directing an opera and got completely frustrated with it and decided to play hide and seek in the dark with Terence Malick instead! Minimalistically beautiful.
A truly magical and rewarding cinematic experience. I know this film has been described as "slow" but I found the entire thing riveting from beginning to end. The composition of each shot was perfect and cinematography as a whole was magnificent. The acting and the characters themselves were perfect. Everything about this film was haunting and beautiful. I definitely will need to see this one again sometime soon.
Despite hearing a few mutterings of "Jesus Christ" at the end of my screening, I don't think this is a film you can form an immediate opinion on. Where this story begins and where it ends are almost arbitrary. This is a brief glimpse into the lives of several ordinary characters - their hopes, fears, regrets - who try to keep themselves warm in the dark, knowing all the while that death is waiting to carry them away
This film is not for everyone, it is not entertainment - it is work, and it is not easy. To commit to this film, you are committing to watching gears turn inside the skulls of characters, understanding how they're being affected and how each seemingly insignificant moment is a clue towards truth. The relentlessly beautiful images are, like the friendly mayor's daughter, gorgeous but trapped in sadness forever.