Sunday, December 30, 2012

Present Tense/Simdiki Zaman (2012)

Director: Belmin Soylemez
Country: Turkey

Synopsis: The story of a young woman who is in search for her lost hopes. Like many in Turkish society, Mina is jobless, lonely, and unhappy. She wants to escape to the USA and start from zero; a familiar feeling to most of us. But how? She needs money, documents and a visa. She applies to a fortune-telling cafĂ©, lying that she has experience. While she reads the coffee cups of many different women, she also tries to find a way out herself. Through the shapes emerging in coffee cups, she expresses her own frustrations and desires to match with those of the customers. Will she be able to get away from present tense and try her luck for the future? – Internet Movie Database (IMDb)

Review: In the broad sense, Present Tense is a chick-flick. True, there is no “foot-popping” kiss in the end, no faithful homeboy clapping in the sidelines. But there is everything else. A penniless heroine who is unhappy at home, dreaming of escaping to the US (Give the girl a break. She can’t dream of making it big as a pop star/fashion journalist, she’s from Turkey!). There is the tall, dark, handsome wolf who is also a pig. There are frustrated fat and middle-aged women, miraculously returned to happy-state by the heroine’s wit and empathy. There is a scene where the heroine gets drunk. There is even the ex-bitch best friend!

The plot, though predictable, is sturdy. The direction is flawless. The cinematography is a visual treat, quite above the other aspects of the film. The colours and shades make an amazing visual pattern. The characters are believable. The actors were all quite natural, and to be frank, eye-candy!

Creating a pleasant film is not an easy or mindless job. It takes more than a plot line stuffed with idle playboys and slapstick humour. It requires breathing a soul into the film, even if the soul is pink! Belmin Soylemez has achieved this in his first film. And Present Tense, if nothing else, is a pleasant film.

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