(Algi Eke, Arin Kusaksizoglu, Serhat Midyat, et al / DVD / NR / (2017) 2018 / Film Rise - MVD Visual)
Overview: Hasret's dreams are haunted by a recurring nightmare from which she disengages every morning. However, what she experiences nightly is not a fictional recreation, but memories.
As she returns from her job at a news channel to a flat left to her after her parents' death twenty years earlier, the questions planted by her dreams slowly begin to creep up: did her parents really die in a car crash?
DVD Verdict: 'Inflame' is a quite disturbing, quite jarring, and yet quite brilliant 2017 Turkish psychological thriller film directed by Ceylan Özgün Özçelik. Indeed, it was screened at both the Panorama section at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival and the SXSW 2017 Film Festival where it received standing ovations at all times.
Basically put, although there truly is nothing basic about the movie, 'Inflame' is a psychological thriller set in contemporary Istanbul that sees a TV editor grapple with her mysterious past.
No,w I have to do my job here and make you aware that the first 30-40 minutes are a slow, building slog to work your way though, sure, but it grows the story around both the main character in question, plus keeps you transfixed at all times.
Young documentary editor Hasret (Algi Eke) works for a fictional Turkish TV channel with the Orwellian slogan “What you see is the truth, what you hear is the truth”. Following a staff reshuffle, she’s reassigned to news, and witnesses at first hand how the fragile value blazoned in the network’s slogan is manipulated through regime-friendly ticker news summaries and the splicing of interviews with government ministers and dissidents.
Each evening, Hasret returns to the old-town apartment where she lives alone since her parents died – in a car accident, she believes, at some unspecified past time.
She confides to a rather anodyne, ineffectual male friend, Mehmet (Cevik), that she’s plagued by a recurrent nightmare, and by an Anatolian folk tune that comes into her head while strolling in a nearby park – where she is also, briefly, caught up in a mob of demonstrators.
Buried memories, connected in some way to the mystery of how her parents really died, are aroused by the photos and notebooks that Hasret unearths in the apartment after quitting her job, along with the Anatolian lute that her father – a folk musician – once played.
True also that there were moments in the film where several people were talking and instead of captioning the salient bits there was an effort to capture everything, and as a result it was a flurry of high speed text on the screen that no one in my watching party was able to read or understand in time; but it is what it is.
Come the final 30 minutes and now we are all locked into her apartment, with Hasret, ourselves not even sure if all the noises, all the visuals, all the smells are a stampeding mid f**k or reality itself. Buy this DVD today, have your friends around, and you all watch it together and decide. Talk about a water cooler moment come the morning for y'all! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1:85.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.