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HomeMovie Reviews

Three Monkeys

  | March 07, 2014 09:48 IST
Three Monkeys
  • Cast:
    Yavuz Bingol, Hatice Aslan, Rifat Sungar, Ercan Ke
  • Director:
    Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Turkey is fast becoming the new Iran of world cinema. Turkish films have, of late, moved past (not left behind) social activism and given themselves to exploring mankind. ? Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Three Monkeys (?? Maymun) is one such film. A bit of thought, an eye for the camera and the capacity to look beyond the apparent story? are the raw materials required to enjoy this dark family drama. ? The story is of a family with a young, aimless boy whose life has undergone serious changes since his father accepted the blame for his boss?s deed and went to jail. The boy, Ismail (Yavuz Bingol) lives with his mother Hacer (Hatice Aslan) and the steadily reducing communication between the two is the basis of all that is to follow. ? Interestingly, Three Monkeys won the Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival this year, but missed out on the Best Film Award. The same hit-and-miss happened at the Osian's Film Festival in Delhi as well. For all the criticism that is levied against awards and juries, this is one that can be upheld, for it is very much a director?s film. ? Ceylan gives this relatively everyday story a look and feel of the dark undertones that can perforate even the most sacred of relationships. It is a unique exploration of that side of love, which at its intense best can be equated with violence, and that's what makes this film special. ? Three Monkeys has despair at its core and more than even the actors ? who have done an exceptional job ? it is the camera that succeeds in putting this across. We gather more from the ambience than from the story, or the plot as such. The inherent silence works to its benefit as it heightens the unspoken tension that marks this film. ? The build up is believable and the credit goes as much to the actors as to the director. The three monkeys of the film have much to contribute, but it is the mother-son relationship that stands out. Hatice Aslan who plays the mother is an outstanding actress, and the way the film shapes up, it goes from being a film about the three family members as the three monkeys, to the three men in her life who acknowledge the discomfort but not the reality that lead to her actions. To us in India, the title will seem odd, given that we're used to the Gandhian, sanitized (even sanitizing) version of the three monkeys. ? From the moment it starts, the film demands that we leave our comfort zones behind and go on a journey that is ridden with uncomfortable silences, betrayal, broken hearts and waywardness. In its preoccupation with this darkness the film at times become unnecessarily stretched. A very basic story plunged in a sense of doom may not hold for everyone, so if you do go to watch, be forewarned! No blockbuster tricks here. ? If you've had a harrowing day at work, give this one a miss and go watch Mamma Mia instead!
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