DVD Review: Three Monkeys

5 Jul

Silence speaks volumes in Three Monkeys, Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s snapshot of a family in freefall following the release of father and husband Eyüp (Yavuz Bingol) from prison.

Eyüp’s decision to take the blame for his employer and local politician Servet’s (Ercan Kesa) hit-and-run accident has unfortunate repercussions for son Ismail (Rifat Sungar) and wife Hacer (Hatice Aslan) as they try to cope with life without the breadwinner’s salary.

When Hacer approaches Servet for an advance on the pay-off agreed for Eyüp’s silence, the pair become involved with each other, leading to problems for all involved.

Rather than spending time on verbal recriminations or clichéd scenarios, Ceylan allows his characters room to breathe. Looks and glances replace dialogue for the most part, the dawning realisation of what has been happening in Eyüp’s world creeping up on him as the camera gets ever closer to its subjects.

Some of the most interesting scenes take place between mother and son, in particular the moment Ismail takes his anger out on his mother in their kitchen. Actor’s Sungar and Aslan handle the moment beautifully, Aslan in particular giving her all.

In fact Aslan, better known for her TV roles in her native Turkey, deserves to be seen again soon on the big screen, her pain and confusion felt acutely throughout the film.

With its washed out colour palette, dubious morals and relaxed pacing, Three Monkeys may not be the most eye-catching or rip-roaring DVD of the summer, but it is one of the most rewarding for the patient viewer.

Three Monkeys is out now from New Wave Films.

Watch the trailer for Three Monkeys:


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