★★ / ★★★★
Written, directed and starring Nuri Bildge Ceylan, “Iklimer or “Climates,” was about a couple (Ceylan and his real-life wife Ebru Ceylan) who decided to break up during a holiday because they felt as though they were drifting apart despite the suggested happy years they’ve spent together. The film was divided into three parts: the break-up, the lead character’s wandering as a single man and his reconnection with a former flame (Nazan Kirilmis) and a reunion with the love of his life. This Turkish film was obviously not intended for general audiences because there were many minutes where nothing was said and pretty much the whole film had this languid tone. However, I thought that the tone fitted this picture because it reflected the characters: no one knew what they wanted but they just yearned to move on because dealing with the main problem was too painful. I also thought the silences were just right because it really highlighted the awkward moments in the conversations that eventually led up to disagreements and arguments. However, the major problem I had with this film was it didn’t spend enough time trying to understand the female lead. That very first scene got me hooked because one minute she was happy but when she decided to sit down and really thought about the situation she was in, she wanted to break down. I wanted to know the reasons why she couldn’t handle it anymore and why she stayed in the relationship for so long. Being “in love” was too simple an explanation and there were implications that were never really in love–they simply enjoyed each other’s company, like being around one’s best friend or a very nice roommate. Instead, we saw the story from the man’s perspective, which I thought wasn’t very interesting. (Sorry, guys.) The way he met up with his other lover was particuarly amusing to me, especially that aggressive sex scene. I wasn’t exactly sure if it was supposed to be funny but I laughed and I thought it was a good change of tone considering all the sadness that was happening on screen. What this film needed was more focus regarding that special connection between the former couple. With such a slow-moving film that felt longer than its running time of about a hundred minutes, focusing on the problem at hand could’ve done wonders instead of wearing out the audiences’ patience with silly sidequests. I saw moments of greatness in “Climates” when it came to the inspiring images regarding the various seasons. It’s definitely not for everyone but I somewhat enjoyed the slow burn (in parts) of this Turkish film.