Thursday, October 1, 2020

The Antenna - Movie Review

The Movie: The Antenna

The Director: Orçun Behram

The Cast: Ihsan Önal, Gül Arici, Levent Ünsal, Isil Zeynep, Murat Saglam, Elif Çakman, Mert Toprak Yadigar, Eda Özel

The Story: In a dystopian Turkey, the Government installs new networks throughout the country to monitor information. The installation goes wrong in a crumbling apartment complex and Mehmet, the building intendant, will have to confront the evil entity behind the inexplicable transmissions that threaten the residents.

The Review:
If I'm being completely honest, I'm really not quite sure of what I just watched and I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way. There is so much metaphor, allegory, and subtext going on in this story, some of it blatantly playing out on screen and some of it buried deep into the layers of character and plot. The story reminded me a lot of V for Vendetta  although not in the actual story or style of film making, I suppose it's mainly the governmental, in this case Turkey, control and dystopian future.

The entire movie plays out in and around an apartment building and focuses primarily on the character Mehmet, played by Ihsan Önal, as well as Yasemin and her family. Önal plays the character as very straight faced and so far beyond mild mannered that even the crazy events that start unfolding, or maybe I should say they literally start oozing out of the building, don't really phase him until a certain breaking point. I believe the character is this way as a representation of how we are all so desensitized to basically everything thanks to media saturation and programming.

Gül Arici, as Yasemin, is probably the most normal character although that's in our sense of what we think might still be normal and she seems to be the least affected by the societal controls that have been digging deeper into the population. She seems to represent a more youthful and open minded personality which of course gets targeted by the government control tactics which begin to unfold after an antenna is installed on the building's roof to facilitate a 24/7 propaganda stream on everyone's televisions.

The movie is very intentional and each scene unfolds in a very deliberate way that allows you to become fully immersed in even the slightest details which was probably the most fascinating part of the movie. I never thought I would be fully engaged in scenes where black goop is methodically flowing out of a wall or a power socket, or a shower faucet and yet there I was. These moments definitely helped to amplify scenes where director Behram then slams your head against the wall with some pretty intense moments all of which leads to a very interesting climax.

The Verdict:
The Antenna is a future no one wants to see and is presented in a way that you can't look away from. Bonus points for taking risks at every turn and staying about as far away from predictability as possible.

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