Eye For Film >> Movies >> Nasty Age (2010) Film Review
Reviewed by: Val Kermode
A slyly humorous look at modern Turkey through the characters of three ordinary men in Istanbul. Each man takes his turn to face the camera and we see him first in a series of stark close ups - “These are the hands… These are the feet… This is the nose...” etc, as if the man is a specimen being dissected for our entertainment.
At first the men don't speak for themselves. An unseen narrator tells us that this is Musa. He works with his hands. He drinks 20 cups of tea. He lived in a shanty and now lives in a flat. His wife hates his mother. His favourite thing is beer. Like a comic strip, each statement has a literal illustration, his shoes, his plate of onions, his MP3 player. It is a clever way to build up a picture of a man and, reading between the lines, we see some of the hopelessness of backstreet life for the unemployed.
Each man eventually has a chance to speak for himself. Musa says with ironic pride “If you know how to live, you live. If you don't know, you die.”
As a study of one character, this could have been very effective, but done three times it becomes rather tedious. The men aren't really sufficiently different to merit this attention. The film is also let down by some very poor subtitling and, given the choice of format, this is important. The monotonous background music doesn't help either. It's a film which grabs your attention but doesn't hold it.Reviewed on: 06 Nov 2010