Cert: 15 Year: 2007 Length: 101 mins
This is a movie with bleak and wintry insights into relationships, and the unchallenged assumptions about how relationships supposedly define what we are - as if in coupledom, our best and maturest selves are in the Venn diagram overlap between the partners. Climates immerses in an icy bath of scepticism any thought that we are capable of changing in a relationship, or that the participants can know each other well enough to effect such a change, or know each other at all. Isa himself is a pretty nasty piece of work: cold, arrogant, a liar. Bahar is hardly more sympathetic: her face is closed and difficult to read.
So this is not an easy watch. I have to confess that, though I believe it to be outstanding, Climates does not offer the magnificent flourish of compassion and richness that made Ceylan's previous film, Distant, a modern classic. It is, however, the work of a film-maker who has established absolute mastery over his cinematic idiom; it does not trade in miserabilism, but a kind of degree-zero clarity about the potential for alienation and anguish in our secular faith in romantic partnership. This is the dark side of love, and it is examined with fierce, cold brilliance.
The work of a film-maker who has established absolute mastery over his cinematic idiom.
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