Winter Sleep (2014) | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 11, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 11, 2017

Classics Review

Winter Sleep (2014)

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Writer: Nuri Bilge Ceylan & Ebru Ceylan

Cast: Haluk Bilginer, Demet Akbag, Melisa Sözen, Ayberk Pekan

Runtime: 196min

Rating: 9.5/10

Plot: Aydin (Haluk Bilginer) is a wealthy intellectual hotel owner of central Anatolia, thrusts his superiority in front of people around him. This leads other people to despise him greatly. Aydin used to perform in theatres as an actor and after his retirement, he started writing for local newspapers. He runs a hotel with his tender aged beautiful wife Nihal, and his newly divorced sister, Necla. After inheriting prolific lands from his late parents, his powers motivated him to suffocate the town people unjustly, who are living as his tenants. The conversations between the family members become grim and as winter approaches the guests bid adieu to the hotel in Anatolia. Thus, the drama ends as a tragic comedy. 

Review: Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Turkish film “Winter Sleep” won the prestigious Palme d'or at the Cannes in 2014. Although being denied by Ceylan for not taking ideas from any legendary wordsmiths such as Chekhov, traces of connotations from Anton Chekhov's “The Wife” and “Excellent People” seemed very vivid to those who has already read the short stories, which one can very much relate with this movie. It can be said that no one but the exceptionally talented Nuri Bilge Ceylan could have painted the words of Chekhov so vividly. Apart from showcasing the mesmerizing imageries of winter in terms of cinematography, the setting looked gloomy and alienated. Yet, backgrounds of urban life could have looked better in the screen. Nevertheless, the dialogues have immense depth and the conversations between the characters stand very philosophical towards the end.

Haluk Bilginer's character as Aydin can be interpreted as one of the false-faced hypocrites of the society, who only showcases their charities due to their position and not for empathy. Aydin acts in denial when he writes about his own reflection in the newspaper blaming Imam Hamdi. He is the dictator, who has no necessity to be kind and gentle towards others. According to him, everyone including his wife and sister seem to be lying under his feet. A fundraiser being hosted by his wife seems very disagreeable to him for which he asks for divorce, but he still donates money for her fundraising. In a similar fashion, this character has been sketched in a very articulate manner and every bit of emotions has been blended seamlessly by all the other characters as well. Hence, this Istanbul based movie is an impeccable abstract piece of art for the reflective minds.

Reviewd by Sumaiya Akhter Nitu

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