Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

06 March 2006

Head-On

I've got to write my review of this before I forget all about it. Head-On, which in German is called Gegen die Wand or Against the Wall is a film about two ethnic Turks living in Germany who perform a phony marriage for various reasons and then gradually fall in love. It's a fairly cool, fast-paced movie with some very sexy love scenes. The star is Sibel Kekilli whose previous credits are all straight-to-video adult films: I know, I know, but this woman is an actress. She's stunningly, almost achingly beautiful and her performance is assured and powerful yet vulnerable.

Head-On, though, is really nothing more than a new version of a melodrama we've all seen before about disaffected criminal-types/drug addicts who actually begin to feel something for one another but cannot be saved by their love for one another because their love of violence/drugs/sex is to great. In the case of Head-On, the filmmaker really has something going on. Fatih Akın's scenarios are often shocking and also new and clever in their exploration of the boundaries of human pain. The main male character at one point, bleeding profusely, dances on a stage in the middle of a rock concert after breaking a glass with his hands. No one seems to notice that his arms are actually covered in blood. Like I said, cool visuals, but any audience member with half a brain will see where this one is going a mile off.