Review: ‘Angel’s Fall’

Precisely shot in cold, hard colors, and centered on two lost souls in a wintry Istanbul, "Angel's Fall" is Nuri Bilge Ceylan Lite. Second feature by writer-director Semih Kaplanoglu ("Away From Home") is perfect fest fare for auds who like introverted, dysfunctional characters in arty, desultory situations.

Precisely shot in cold, hard colors, and centered on two lost souls in a wintry Istanbul, “Angel’s Fall” is Nuri Bilge Ceylan Lite. Second feature by writer-director Semih Kaplanoglu (“Away From Home”) is perfect fest fare for auds who like introverted, dysfunctional characters in arty, desultory situations.

During the day, Zeynep (Tulin Ozen) works as a hotel chambermaid and gives a hard time to Mustafa (Engin Dogan), a colleague who fancies her. She lives with her father (Musa Karagoz), a morose type who likes his dinner on the table when he comes home. Meanwhile, across town, a more upscale couple, Selcuk (Budak Akalin) and Funda (Yesim Ceren Bozoglu), separate. Without his wife around, Selcuk slowly goes to pieces, and by chance Funda’s clothes end up in Zeynep’s hands, with violent results when her dad comes home and his dinner isn’t ready. Occasional extracts from Edvard Grieg’s elegiac orchestral piece, “Heart’s Wounds,” provide more emotion than is ever shown onscreen, though devotees of such filmmaking probably won’t even notice. Cinematographer Eyup Boz deservedly won a special prize at the Istanbul fest for “creating an atmosphere of natural light.”

Angel's Fall

Turkey-Greece

Production

A Kaplan Film Yapim (Turkey)/Inkas Film, PPV, Highway Prod. (Greece) production. (International sales: Kaplan Film, Istanbul.) Produced by Semih Kaplanoglu, Lilette Botassi. Co-producers, Panayotis Papazoglou, Yorgos Lykiardopoulos. Directed, written by Semih Kaplanoglu.

Crew

Camera (color), Eyup Boz; editors, Ayhan Ergursel, Kaplanoglu, Suzan Hande Guneri; music, extracts from Edvard Grieg's "Heart's Wounds"; art director, Esat Tekand; costumes, Zeynep Sirlikaya. Reviewed at Istanbul Film Festival (national competition), April 14, 2005. (Also in Berlin Film Festival -- Forum.) Turkish dialogue. Running time: 93 MIN.

With

Tulin Ozen, Budak Akalin, Musa Karagoz, Engin Dogan, Yesim Ceren Bozoglu, Ozlem Turhal, Can Kolukisa.
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