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#AdanaFF A Reflection of Life: Something Useful (2017)

I love to meet new people and learn new cultures and that is why I love stories that happen on the train. In a trail of a day I can meet five different cities full of people with five different costumes, talking five different dialects if not languages. This movie is not an exception to this as half of story takes place on the train.

The movie starts with a newly wedded bride in her white wedding dress and her groom in his tuxedo trying to pose for their wedding album photo shoot at the main train station. The wedding resembles the engagement of Adam and Eve, the new beginning of a journey that gives fruit to a new life and a productive path forward.

Canan (Öykü Karayel) who seems lost in her judgment for an action meets a decisive woman who introduces herself as a lawyer.

The classification of characters are aligned with what one can experience in a city life in Turkey, the intellectual type that dresses well and speaks proper with thoughtful eyes and a pause-to-answer attitude making sure she answers rightfully versus a young girl with anxiety of a future stable life free of her traditional family trying to find the solution to a promise she made to be part of an euthanasia request from a patient.

In Turkey euthanasia is against religion, one go to hell if commits suicide and it is against social norms and considerred illegal if assisted by another person. The patient in need is a paralysed man that is young to die and seems to have the money to be ‘happy’, yet he is lying in the bed watching people enjoying life with their free movements in the park outside.

The movie brings many social issues in the picture such as difficulties that a handicapped person faces that we take for granted in our life, sharp contrast in society that collides without reason like when lady reply to waiter in the train restaurant ‘people in slums throw stones at the train windows because we are drinking alcohol?’. Yes it is wonderful to show it all and mentioning it as much as we can but if gets too much it turns into a nagging cliche that is not focused on one matter and at last can’t offer a solution to the problem.

An inevitable success of the movie — if there is any — is the writings. The literature-like flow of the script made me remember the times when I read an easy read book on a hot summer vacation and enjoy it with a smile. The conversations are soothing and compliment the industrial ruggedness of the train.

Hence I have to admit the few technical gaffs in the first half of the movie does not help the story to build on a stronger level, the change in the scenes from train to the cozy flat in the city helps the audience with detailed eyes to enjoy the movie better. I really enjoyed playing of the lead character Leyla — the poet — engaging in the stories she is learning from Canan. She is taking us out from the theater hall to the train cabins and with them during their journey for the one hour and fifty minutes of the movie.

I have only one word for this movie, and that is Reflection.

Gökhan Tiryaki with his cinematography skills made sure we enjoy the beautiful scenery of the road in which many reflections of the characters on the windows and mirrors are constantly shown, somehow too much of it. I wonder if the reflections are showing the story before us are pieces of the lives of people in the poem that is shaping by Leyla or the director let the camera man showing off his talent to help us bolster an intuitive grasp of reality that is being shaped in Leyla’s story. Either way, it is definitely helping the movie get a step closer to its artistic epiphany.

Strong amateur 6/10

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