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Head-On (2004), #65 out of 100

March 20, 2012

Love and romance in film, even when explored or pontificated upon, tends to be seen as an uncomplicated answer to the protagonists’ worries. Few films really explore relationships as something that actually further emotionally and spiritually muddles those involved. Even fewer would have the balls to do so about characters already as unstable as those in Head-On. At the start, Cahit shows little concern for life as a man who declares he has nothing to live for, and his volatile behavior leads to a drunken suicide attempt through a car crash. As he recooperates in a mental institute, attractive but equally disturbed Sibel comes onto him and explains a proposition for marriage between the two as a means of getting caretakers off their backs (namely her family off her own). He eventually gives in and the two play house, and while convention should make it obvious feelings will brew, the distraught emotional states of the two live up to only making their lives tougher as a result.

Whether it’s Sibel’s promiscuity or Cahit’s cynicism, their own dwindling amounts of self-worth are put into even more erratic states upon the introduction of romance. Pursuit is shown then withdrawn, solitude leads to doubt and anxiety, and reflection in company drives their feelings into extremities. In one scene, Cahit celebrates the realization he is in love by smashing his hands into beer glasses, rubbing his palms against the shards, and dancing on-stage at a concert. Cahit and Sibel are constantly combining pain with joy because all the opportunities in their lives at this point can only show them wonderful possibilities that sadly can’t be, whether because of themselves or extenuating circumstances. Ultimately, a sage advice given early in the film becomes the credo to salvation: “If you can’t change the world, change your world.” Given the worrisome yet punk attitude of the film, it’s no surprise the advice is a line from a song.

From → Top 100

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