Current Issue #488

Film Review:
One-Way to Tomorrow (Yarina Tek Bilet)

Eskisehir-born director Ozan Açiktan’s latest feels like a rethink of Richard Linklater’s first-in-the-trilogy Before Sunrise, but the characters are a little older, warier and more knocked around by life.

In fact, this is actually a remake of the 2014 Swedish production Hur Man Stoppar Ett Bröllop (a title that’s a bit of a spoiler, so it won’t be translated here), and there are problems, especially with the grating nature of the two protagonists, neither of whom have the easy, wistfully romantic charm of Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in Sunrise. No, here they’re spikier and more realistic.

The 24 year old Leyla (Dilan Çiçek Deniz) is making a long train journey, and a lost bag has her ticket in it so she sneaks into a railway car to avoid security (an almost Hitchcockian touch). Here she meets Ali (Metin Akdülger), who was meant to be with a group of friends but is now conveniently (and concerningly) solo, and they immediately clash.ewre

Deniz’s Leyla is a spitfire (according to the subtitles) and full of defensive anger, while Akdülger’s Ali is flirty but condescending, and they’re stuck with each other for the trip, although they do improbably leave the train at least once. And, naturally, they bicker, apologise, open up, remove their masks and reveal their secrets, as a soundtrack of Turkish hits fills the soundtrack and, it seems, no one else comes or goes from the train, which is a good thing considering what they get up to.

Naturally, Deniz and Akdülger are the whole show here, and they’re a familiar pair of movie types, despite the ‘exotic’ locations and language. And Deniz (in her first proper starring role) is definitely the stronger player of the two, but despite director Açiktan’s attempts to take the edge off the former Miss Universe Turkey via grungy wardrobe choices, it’s never quite made clear why she would would fall for a whiny, vaguely stalker-y guy like Ali. Surely she could find someone far less annoying at any stop along the way?

Throwing in an odd, film-school-ish reference to Jean-Luc Godard’s Bande À Part towards the end, Açiktan’s character piece is worth watching, despite its issues, if you’re sick to death of glossy, cheesy Hollywoody romantic epics.

And yep, you probably are!

Reviewer Rating

One-Way To Tomorrow (M) is now streaming on Netflix

DM Bradley

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