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The Wild Pear Tree
A study of the conversational
irishtimes.com, Donald Clarke
Nov 30, 2018, 05:00
The Wild Pear
Tree uses a young man's post-graduation experience to pose thoughtful,
engaging questions about life in modern Turkey -- and the rest of the
world. --Rotton Tomatoes
progression of the conversations goes a long way in making Wild Pear Tree feel
like an epic; the accumulation of ideas feels downright
monumental. --Chicago Reader
You can never go home again.
That’s what they say. Really? If that were the case about a quarter of the
Booker Prize shortlist would have no resonance whatsoever.
Characters are forever
poking around old haunts and stimulating unresolved disputes.
more of that in the latest lengthy musing from the great Turkish director Nuri Bilge
Ceylan. Over the last decade, Ceylan
– never a director of furious action – has closed down his cinema into a study
of the conversational art. There is humour in here. There is even some glacially
undulating plot. But the dynamics that matter are those that play themselves out
through spoken language.
Sinan (Aydin Dogu Demirkol), a recent graduate, returns
to his maritime home with plans to self-publish a philosophical tome inspired by
those surroundings. We’re never very certain if he’s any good as a writer. The
whole project may be part of a pose. “I don’t really like
people,” he tells his mother, as many such men tend to do. The project
does, however, allow him the opportunity to wander about the village and
generate more of those fascinating conversations.
His dad, a gambler and schoolteacher, has
accumulated such debts that the family are sometimes without food or power. He
meets up with a famous writer in a bookshop and ends up losing his
Sleep, which won Ceylan
the Palme d’Or at Cannes, played like a journey into the darker corners
of a troubled brain, The Wild Pear
Tree spends as much time being playful as it does cogitating on
the great existential questions.
It invites the viewer to (silently, we
hope) add his or her voice to the back and forth of the debate. Filmed in a
gorgeous widescreen that is at home to the area’s natural beauty, The Wild Pear Tree is sometimes haphazard in its
chatter, but it finds purpose in a final sequence that gathers together many of
the film’s concerns.
One does, nonetheless, wonder how much further Ceylan
can go with these gabbathons. The daunting length and narrative inertia are in
danger of becoming fetishes. Are we to be forbidden even the relative zing of
earlier pictures such as Once
Upon a Time in Anatolia? His followers won’t worry about such
Film Title: The Wild Pear Tree
Director: Nuri Bilge
Starring: Aydin Doğu Demirkol, Murat
Cemcir, Bennu Yıldırımlar, Hazar Ergüçlü, Serkan Keskin, Tamer Levent, Akin
Aksu, Öner Erkan
Running Time: 188 min
Fri, Nov 30, 2018, 05:00
Opens November 30th
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