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Thursday, July 24, 2008

UZAK

Loneliness. My loneliness is where i take refuge. My loneliness is where i seclude myself from all the chaos. My loneliness is where i reinvent the process of living. My loneliness is my greatest boon, I love being a loner, but there is always the other me. The other one who balances the loner, the one deals with the chaos, the one who just lives. Whenever I get into the mighty web of loneliness I always know that sometime when i come out of it, life will be waiting for me, there will be people eager to speak and shed love, then I kill the loner for a while and I become a social animal like the rest of us. But what if someday I am trapped in my web of loneliness and there is no way out? What if my loneliness turns out into my greatest curse? what if I become the only one in my world? what if the mask becomes my face? NO. I cant even think about it!. Socially induced loneliness sucks out the very essence from living. Each of us are have a book the book called life and there are some pages that we always prefer to skip. Those pages filled with the deepest and unexplored emotions. I read them today, A movie made me read it. UZAK(2003) a Turkish film by Nuri Bilge Ceylan contains excerpts of hidden pages from the book called life. It deals with the lives of two lonesome men who are forced into the cavities of a painfully isolated existence.
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Yusuf comes to the city from the country side. The factory has failed in his village and he has no means to earn. He foolishly believes that he can find a high paying job in the city at the shipping yard and save his family from the cruel hands of poverty. He comes to Istanbul on a bleakly winter day in search of his distant cousin who is now a well-of photographer. Mahmut the cousin is a lonely man, he is divorced from his wife and lives all alone in his apartment. He has no friends or he doesn't have an active social life. He gets on with hookers, smokes, drinks and photographs the dusky beauty of Turkey. The two men slowly become isolated companions of the house.As days pass by Mahmut begins to loathe his cousin, berating him for everything from failing to flush the toilet to the smell of his cheap cigarettes, he feels that Yusuf is disturbing his privacy and gradually grows furious at the disorder that has come into his life. As the "for a few days" job search extends for weeks, Mahmut gets annoyed at Yusuf's presence. Meanwhile Yusufs job search doesn't turn fruit full, he is deeply hurt, he knows that he has become an unwanted guest but he has no choices, he roams around smoking cheap cigarettes. Both men start living a distant life in the same room, they are unable to connect with themselves and with the society. They smoke, they wander, they live in a vacuum.When things get worse in Mahmut's personal life they enter into a shabby confront which makes Yusuf leave the house without informing his cousin. The movie ends with Mahmut being seen sitting on a bench in a gray, cold day, smoking the leftover cigarette cheap of Yusuf and the deep silence on screen gives a number of meanings, one of which is Muhmut finally is disturbed as he has lost the only companion in live, with no one even to annoy him, he has finally become the same old loner which he was before.
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The two men in their own way portray the pain of being lonesome and helpless. In the eyes of Yusuf we could sense the sufferings undergone by all unemployed men, who are pushed into the verge of rejection, who remain defenseless to the abusive attacks of the society, who long for love and who are always ignored by women. The pain he undergoes when he gets rejected by women and the complex that he develops over it are disturbing. And Mahmut remains as a deep physiological study of what happens to a man who is exhausted by life.The cinematography is a strong point, handled by Ceylan himself it portrays the disturbing beauty of the grey snow. Winter which makes us confine in our homes is aptly chosen as the theme. Silence is the language of the film. With some deeply moving performances, an efficient screenplay and a disturbing camera work UZAK can be one of the most important films of the decade.
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Let me end up by narrating what i feel the most disturbing and defining moment of the film "In a scene after Yusuf goes to bed, Mahmut closes the door and secretly decides to watch porn, with the fear that Yusuf may enter the room at any moment, his eyes are reluctantly fixed on the closed door, on the other side behind the closed door Yusuf secretly uses Mahmuts phone to converse with his sick mom, but his eyes are fixed on the closed door fearing Mahmut". Both men hold their secrets behind the closed door.Hence the closed door symbolically defines the dual faces that people portray to each other.The behavior in the absence. The "real" person can always be found behind the door. What is behind our doors remains as the most kept secret.Hence this movie which is an ordinary story of ordinary people asks us a question, which we always prefer to parry, which in deeper thought becomes a nightmare for many, but the question remains. What does it mean to be really alone? How does it look like?
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15 comments:

Animated Junk said...

What does it mean to be really alone? How does it look like??

loneliness wen pushed to such extents makes u feel unwanted. A feeling, questionin the reason to wake up the next morning. A feeling of numbness. A feeling of fear. A feeling of torment n torture. A feeling of utter despair.
Everythin looks HOpeless.

Nice post.

Anonymous said...

Loneliness when it is chosen can be a blessing, but it should not be a result of exclusion or avoidance. Loneliness can be used to harness one's spiritual energies. Even Vallalar advocated it -பசித்திரு, தனித்திரு, விழித்திரு. At times you touch certain spiritual heights in your film reviews.Keep it up.

My Musings said...

Reading on loneliness, felt i was talking to me, Well The inside-introvert and loner by choice, The same-old story of us.

BEautiful description da! Well Those words did stirred something inside me. exactly what i've been for a while, I remember seeing the same movie one day at 2 am in zee studio. I don remember the name, but it was exactly the scene you described, thats how i remember the movie..

Well Loneliness by choice is a bliss, but when we tend to ignore our fellow beings and use this to instill fear, insult others, spread hatredness, bring in hurt and depression, Its a death to humanity and haven't we all learned well to mock @ lives. JUst reminded of S Ra....

And your enoughly haunting narration speaks it all....

Raj said...

Philosophical musing at young age!!!. I some how like movies that are not too hard on a subject. for example, i loved Trainspotting (adaptation of a novel by the same name), which is an anti-drug movie with out the generous dose of melancholy all the way. It was hilarious, yet it was profound in passing across the effect that drugs are sure way to reach hell in a manner, that we look forward too.

Could you review those kind of films too please?

Vignesh said...

@Junk
A feeling, questionin the reason to wake up the next morning.. exactly.All that u described i saw in a place..guess where..an oldage home..fear,despair,pain, hopelessness seeing them you finally start feeling bad about being human!

@Anonymous
Ya agreed When you choose to be lonely it is a blessing,but not when the society induces it on you.Credits to the movie, it opens up new doors of thoughts!!Thanks anyway:)

@Barath
Already spoken a lot over the phone.:)

And S.Ra, i could sense him throughout the post, he in a way made me sense suffering and struggle in a different light. I just try to be him and that ends up writing a so-called haunting post:)

@Raj
Thanks. And as again credit goes to the movie:). Ya Raj i too wish i could write bout those other movies which are not so crude, but i dunno why, it is these kind of movies that insipre me to write.. Ok lemme next write about Little miss sunshine(hope u hv seen it).. a hilarious yet profound tale of a "disturbed";) family...

Anu said...

Wow.. loved the first couple of lines
"My loneliness is where i take refuge. My loneliness is where i seclude myself from all the chaos. My loneliness is where i reinvent the process of living"

They seem to talk to a deeper sense of search for the real self.. I dont know if I want to see this movie, because the sadness of the loneliness, permeates from your review.

Anonymous said...

ராஜ் சொன்னமாதிரி தத்துவம் கொஞ்சம் துக்கலாகத்தான் இருக்கு விக்னேஷ்

Vignesh said...

@Anu

Thanks, but that was what i derived from the movie, but do watch it, maybe you can find more than the Lonliness part of it..

@ Anonymous

நன்றி :))

Aaarti said...

Wow, that seems like quite an intense movie... let me see if i can find the dvd!!!

Vignesh said...

Hey aarthi thanks for dropping by:)..

and if ur in chennai u could get a copy at the bazzar, else try downloading it...and do share ur comments once u ve watched it!!!

Aravindan said...

Whoa! Splendid review! Let me watch the movie and decide which is better - your writing or the movie? ;)

P.S - Can you mail me the torrent link?

Vignesh said...

Aravind, ithu konjam romba over-u:)) I am sure ull love the movie!!

And sent u the torrent link:)

Milinta said...

Half the time i don't comment here cuz i get lost in your words and by the time i'm back from the reverie i'm left speechless!!! So hereby i declare that whenever i don't comment on an Amazwi post or ramble nonsense like this, it implies i'm groping for words that might do justice to ur writing! :)

Vignesh said...

hey Mil,

Thanks a ton!!

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