Sunday 26 January 2020

The Wild Pear Tree [2018]

Turkish maestro Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s magnificent The Wild Pear Tree is filled with intriguing contradictions – deep intimacy that belied its epic 3-hour length, a discursive and rambling narrative that was also curiously engrossing, and seamless interplay between seriousnes and wry, brittle humour. Sinan (Aydın Doğu Demirkol), an aspiring writer who’s just finished college, returns to his hometown Çan where he hopes to publish his “quirky auto-fiction meta novel” that he’s completed. As he drifts in a state of suspension, he engages in a diverse mix of meandering conversations – with his father (Murat Cemcir), a kindly man and ageing teacher addicted to gambling; his mother (Bennu Yıldırımlar) who alternates between her weary and caring sides; the town mayor who he approaches to help publish his novel; a greasy “patron of arts” who prefers books trumpeting the town’s historical angles instead of a low-key chronicle of its people’s mundane existence; a couple of demogagues with their interpretations of religion, etc. His interactions with his misunderstood father, with whom he finds himself at odds, and his embittered mother, formed the film’s most powerful crux. And, while every conversation added enriching layers to the film’s thematic excursions and Sinai’s complex nature – which alternated between sober, melancholic, cynical, passive-aggressive, arrogant and even vitrolic – two stood out in their brilliance and seething volatility – with a striking former flame who craves for freedom from the rut around her, and a well-known writer with whom the conversation powerfully imploded from besumed banter to an increasingly lacerating, provocative and confrontational argument. Stunning overhead and panoramic landscape shots, and mininalist usage of a gently elegiac score, deftly laced the film’s quietly afecting undercurrents of disillusionment and reconciliation.

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Family Drama
Language: Turkish
Country: Turkey

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