Sunday, February 18, 2007

Review | Polis

Watch ‘Polis’ for entertainment

Haluk Bilginer, the protagonist of the new Turkish film "Police," said at a press conference that the film would defy clichés even before it was shot.

It is certain that "Police," the first film produced by Onur Ünlü's production company, will deviate from the norm. This is the first film in Ünlü's "National Murders Collection." One can guess from the debates that begun over the film even before it was featured that everybody interprets and enjoys clichés differently.
Let's first sum up the film's plot: Musa Rami (Bilginer) is an experienced police officer who has won many awards and medals in the homicide division of a police department and likes to do things his way. His manner of handling his job contains many clichés and the director does not hesitate to use them against him.

Rami kills one of the two sons of a family notorious for drug trafficking, which instigates a spiral of events. The other son goes after Rami to avenge his brother. Rami doesn't care, but soon his family is threatened. Threats against his freaky daughters, sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren and the suicide of his daughter (though Rami believes it was a planned murder, not a suicide) puts Rami's back to the wall. His sole connection to life is with university student Funda (Özgü Namal). Funda gets help from Rami on her thesis, whose content we know nothing about, and Rami is completely blind to the outside world when he is with Funda. However, police chief Yılmaz (Ragıp Savaş), who has been trained by Rami, is displeased by Rami's happiness. Rami faces hardship after hardship. Shortly after his 63rd birthday, the doctor tells him he will die in two months. Amidst these shocks, Rami sometimes attempts to commit suicide, sometimes pursue hope in his young love and peace in prayer.

Doesn't the story sound familiar? This is the starting point from director Ünlü. He looks at this well-known story from his own ironic viewpoint and turns it upside down. However, this contorted story has won praise from certain people for its innovation, while others find it meaningless. Those who look for a straight flow of story in the film will be disappointed. They might wonder what the film's point was, or why they even watched it in the first place.

Furthermore, they will probably remember last year's "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," which had a similar objective and plot to "Police." On the other hand, you might greatly enjoy the film if you are fed up with the standard "intro-body-conclusion" films.
Because the film is based on irony, which has scarcely been used in Turkish films, it is quite successful in creating atmosphere. The director has paid the utmost attention to style. If Ünlü continues to shoot films, he will be able to express his intentions more successfully and present audiences with enjoyable films. All we can do is wait for his new films or watch "Police" purely for entertainment value as the director suggested.


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