Head-On Movie Review

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Forty-something bum meets twenty-something Turkish cutie in this multiple award-winning German film by Fatih Akin. Shrill, earthy, gritty, and sometime ridiculous, the film succeeds in mixing the unconventional and the realistic with assurance.

Grungy looking Cahit (Birol Ünel) is so far down he doesn't know which way is up. His job is picking up beer bottles in a rundown bar near his equally rundown cave-like apartment. Since the loss of his wife, his life is over and as a consequence, when he's not drinking he's drunk.

Determined to end it all he drives his car head-on into a wall. In the hospital he meets 20-year-old Sibel (Sibel Kekilli), another failed suicide who decides that Cahit is just who she needs to get a green card to live in Germany.

Sibel is rebellious, outspoken, and sexy. Cahit is tough, ugly, and filthy, but Sibel likes him. They marry out of necessity, but in time -- of course -- they fall in love, much to the chagrin of Sibel's proud Turkish family.

But can it last? No, of course not. Not only is there an ego clash between the two but Cahit is a hot head and his actions drive Sibel right into the hands of her family who are all to glad to send her back to Turkey. Distraught Cahit hits rock bottom and then in time heads to Turkey to find his bride and make amends. But it may be too late!

Head-On, which won the Golden Bear in Berlin, five German Lolas, and three major European Film Awards, has verve and is well grounded in dealing with the subject of identity and culture clash between two people from different European countries. But it is often difficult to forget that we are watching a movie. And some scenes - such as Cahit going on a drunken brawl through a crowded rock concert with blood spewing down both arms - are so over-the-top as to propel the film from realistic to weird.

Overall, Head-On is not particularly original but it is often riveting enough to hold one's attention.

Aka Gegen die Wand.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Starring : Birol Ünel, , , Güven Kýraç

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Comments

Head-On Rating

" OK "

Rating: NR, 2005

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