Uzak is a tough film to review. I love my foreign films, a collector of world films from all over the globe but I had never seen a Turkish film until I watched Uzak. After reading the blurb, I thought I would give Nuri Bilge Ceylan's film a go.
It is a little slow paced (which I suppose gives the film more of a realistic feel) and the acting is excellent, especially as the two male actors are amateur actors. Even though the film was made on a cheap budget, director, Ceylan produces a masterpiece with focus on the cinematography (not surprising as the director was a photographer in his past). Watching the extras after the film, Uzak went up in my estimation with Ceylan speaking honestly in his interview, admitting the film was 40% about his life.
It is a film which is perfect for film studies as many questions can be discussed and written about, especially the relationship between the main character and his nephew from the country. It's not a film you can chill out to with a bottle of wine, it's a touch grey leaving you a little empty, and even though the dvd cover said there was humour in the film, it was very limited to one or two scenes. Uzak means Distant in Turkish and I'm afraid most people will feel distant from the film and not be rushing to watch it again. However, if you appreciate good cinema, realistic acting, top directing and a moving story, or just feel like watching something different, Uzak is a film for you. I am glad I bought it as it's a film worth having in my collection. I knew before watching the film that the younger male actor who played Yusuf (Emin Toprak) died in real life in a car accident not long after the film was made and I couldn't help feel for his character even more due to this.
To summarise, Uzak is well worth the watch (either on your own or with someone who appreciates world cinema) and the extras on the dvd are interesting too, especially the interview with Nuri Bilge Ceylan who doesn't just director, he writes, stands behind the lense and edits his work, clearly taking his work very seriously and personal.