Shades of Takeshi Kitano, Johnnie To and any number of cop movies stalk “Police,” a funky riff with a Turkish twist on the hard-boiled genre movie. Clever wheeze by debutant writer-director Onur Unlu is to cast respected theater/film veteran Haluk Bilginer (channeling Ugo Tognazzi) as the unconventional cop, rather than as a younger actor. Result, a moderate success locally, could work as a midnight fest curio.
Bilginer plays sixtysomething Musa Rami, who should be readying for retirement but has decided to take on the highly connected Izmitli gang, which makes his cop colleagues extremely nervous. At the same time, he’s fallen secretly in love with young sociology student Funda (Ozgu Namal). As Rami has cancer and only two months to live, he has nothing to lose, on either a professional or family front. Unlu, who dedicates the film to “Kitano and my mother,” isn’t interested in replicating Asian movies’ hard-driven style. Pic’s low-key appeal (and humor) comes from its relaxed, everyday style, which is constantly punctuated by weird happenings or Rami’s own maverick actions. Technically, pic is fine, though post-synched dialogue is very forward.