In three episodes, Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Uzak, Clouds of May) subverts the expectations of romantic comedy to follow a feckless architect's troubled relationship with his much younger girlfriend.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2007
Climates may be the most accomplished and visually beautiful film yet from Nuri Bilge Ceylan, director of Uzak and Clouds of May. The set-up is simple: the film follows the evolution of a troubled relationship in three episodes, set in three different locations with their own distinctive climates, both physical and emotional. We trail Isa, a feckless architecture lecturer, from the sun and surf of Kas, where he breaks up with his much younger girlfriend, Bahar; to the drizzle of Istanbul, where he marks time by hooking up with Serap, the partner of a friend; to the snows of the east, whither he pursues Bahar. This structure suggests the tidy symmetry of a typical romantic comedy, but Ceylan, who himself takes on the unflattering role of Isa, savagely undercuts any such expectations by exposing in the central section just how awful his character is. Thus, the closer the final section cleaves to romantic cliché, the more uncomfortable we get. Ultimately, we’re hoping like crazy that nobody gets to live ‘happily ever after’.