Another critic has already written about the Shakespearian references in Anatolian Leopard, which makes sense because a mid-act slow burn tragedy in appropriate in a city like the film’s version of Ankara, sleepy, sparsely populated, textured buildings catching neon lights. The central figure in this tragedy is Firket (Ugur Polat). He manages a public zoo that’s on its way to foreign privatization if it wasn’t for the titular leopard. The zoo’s transition from public to private property becomes more difficult as the leopard disappears.
The mystery within The Anatolian Leopard isn’t a mystery. It reveals the party responsible for the disappearance and what their motives are. So it’s more about when most of the characters will discover the bomb under the table. The person who may or may not care about that discovery is a prosecutor (Tansu Bicer) who tells a lot of stories. The film’s other literary references come through that prosecutor, who likes to tell a lot of stories that relate to Firket’s situation.
Perhaps those stories feel too on the nose, which is a flaw that most literary films have. And when characters don’t recited didactic monologues, they sometimes stay in frustrating silence. Firket occasionally does this with his assistant (Ipek Turktan). But then again what is film if it isn’t the examination of the human face? The faces here are either weathered on the outside or expressing internal worries. And this film follows these faces as they live everyday, as hard as that can be.
- Rated: NR
- Genre: Drama, Foreign
- Release Date: 9/11/2021
- Directed by: Emre Kayiş
- Starring: Ipek Türktan, Tansu Biçer, Uğur Polat
- Produced by: Jon Hammer, Kanat Doğramaci, Maria Blicharska, Olena Yershova, Tanja Georgieva-Waldhauer
- Written by: Emre Kayiş
- Studio: Adomeit Pictures, Asteros Film, Donten&Lacroix Films, Elemag Pictures, MRK Film, TatoFilm