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A serial killer hunts down released ex-cons convicted of pedophilia in a setting where corridors represent the mind and the city is a corridor!
The film's story-line in a nutshell is: A serial killer hunts down released convicts who did time for pedophilia related charges. Two police officers Akrep Celal and Commissioner Abbas are out to get Istanbul's first serial killer, whom all the visible traces suggest to be Ensar, a young man who just returned from his army service and has lost a sibling to pedophilia!
First of all lest just mention the ONLY positive thing about his film: the CAST! Director and actor Ugur Yucel manages to use his persona and connections very well to bring together gorgeous Kenan Imirzalioglu and psychotic looking, mad-acting Nejat Isler in the same movie! This is the equivalent of having Brad Pitt and Christian Bale in the same picture with Robert De Niro as the director and mentor. Good, no? Well not really! Not when the rest of the cast is composed of FLESH and not actors. Berrak Tuzunatac, a beautiful face placed on a big and curvy body and Ceyda Duvenci, looks that loose meaning after staring for 5 seconds, as well as all other co-actors make this what-could-have-been a well ensemble cast look like they were put together not to make a good movie but to make few bucks of the talent and name of some and the body and sexuality of others! I am afraid this is the case with Dragon Cage!
Now to the constructive criticism as to the very nisch-nischs of this movie. If Ugur Yucel is to look back to the failure of this movie in a few weeks (and fail this movie will at the box office) and ask why, he should be told: It's the script you stupid! Ugur Yucel might be one of the best actors of Turkish cinema and definitely a GREAT director based on his first two movies. Looking at these facts one would assume he would know what a bad script is when he reads it. Seems not! The script for Ejder Kapani is not only a bad montage made from similar famous movies (seven, crimson rivers...) but it lacks any local taste it could have inserted and gave a taste of originality with! The storyline is obvious and it gives itself away from minute 10 and the dialogs, oh the dialogs! Could they have been more obvious?!
As a good director, based on his previous two films, Mr Yucel does a less than OK job directing here. The films editing and pace never match, mood building scenes of walking and chasing are the SAME all across the film, the city is meant to be turned into a labyrinth through camera angles and dark choice of film footage however it lacks the, again, locality of Istanbul and all the 'fear' and 'expectations' are pushed on the audience by simply making the screen darker and the music heavier! And the music! Oh lord when will my people learn to not do what Hollywood stopped doing 30 years ago? Mood pushing music? Really! The worst part of Mr Yucel's directing though is closely associated with the film's greatest strenght: the cast! Main characters over act too much! Which brilliant mind thought that casting Kenan Imirzalioglu as an angry police officer and Nejat Isler as a psychotic looking type is a good idea, hasn't both been done many a times before?! Why do they allow to be type-casted is another question and worry I have!
The movie fell very short of what I was expecting and it was the one movie I have been looking forward to the most in Turkey this year! Avoid it!
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