TIFF 2023: Our Review of ‘The Reeds

Posted in TIFF 2023 by - September 12, 2023
TIFF 2023: Our Review of ‘The Reeds

Young people sometimes luck out and get things from the powers that be. That’s what happens to Ali (Hilmi Ahıska), the protagonist of Cemil Ağacıkoğlu‘s The Reeds. Ali works with his wife Aysan (Sevgi Temel) in an Anatolian village. He happens to be around while one of his bosses finds himself in the middle of an island, waiting for a ride. Since Ali comes to the rescue, the boss gives him two birds that he hunted. But most of the time, the world takes from the couple. They’re in the middle of a poaching war among bickering bosses in the reed industry where they work. One day, one of those bosses, Kadir (Erdem Şenocak) catches him hoarding canes instead of giving them to the bosses.

But then, while attacking Ali, Kadir falls onto a reed, eventually killing him. Ali, then, watches the village spiral after Kedir’s disappearance. Ahiksa in The Reeds physicalize the effects of hard labour. A character younger than me should not move like someone older than me, yet he’s more than able to express those physical characteristics. Relatively new to film, he carries himself well in a film that has a cast with relatively more famous actors. Most of my reservations about the film involve what Ali does to Kedir’s body and if Aysan knows about what he did. I get it, we’re all just armchair critics when it comes to murder. But the more I think about this movie, the more it bothers me.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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