Turquaze – **

Posted: October 2, 2010 in Drama, Flanders, Turkey, XX

Seen at the UGC Antwerp

Turquaze is the most hyped movie in Flanders at the moment. For the very simple reason that it’s the first Flemish movie that deals about immigrants in Flanders directed by someone whose parents were immigrants as well. The director and his brother who plays the main character have been in every tv show. They ‘ve had interviews in every newspaper. And all the comments and reviews are extremely positive. The PR campaign itself deserves an Oscar. If you haven’t heard about this movie, you haven’t been in this region for a while.

However, I’ve just seen the movie and it’s just a decent piece of cinema. Nothing more and nothing less. There’s nothing original about the movie. There’s nothing intriguing about it either. It’s just an above average movie that would never attract a tenth of the crowds it attracts now, if word of mouth would have been the only way of advertising.

Leaving the theatre it puzzled me why I felt totally untouched by the whole experience. Nowhere in the movie did I feel empathy or apathy for any of the characters. Nowhere in the movie was I excited or curious to know what would happen next. I just enjoyed watching it.

Hands up for the director whose cinematic vision translated well to the big screen. It is a beautifully shot movie and you never have the impression that it’s made with a low budget. Pure class. The story on the other hand is very simple and predictable. It’s not half as fascinating as it could have been and the dialogues are silly. Actually, the best scenes in the movies are those scenes in which nobody talks. Those scenes are very impressive and it shows the talent of the actors who really can express a lot with their behaviour and their look. But again, the dialogues are just too silly and ruin the whole experience.

The story, by the way, follows a few weeks in the life of a Turkish-Flemish musician after the death of his father. He has a Flemish girlfriend, but hasn’t introduced her to his family yet. Nor has he been introduced to her family. He has two brothers: one conservative older brother and one lost teenage brother. Yeah, that’s basically the story. 2 hours long.

Again, it’s a good movie. But it’s slow. And it’s never funny. Nor does it ever make you feel emotional. If you want to see a good home made movie about intercultural relationships check the Brussels drama Au-Dela De Gibraltar ***.

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