Sunday, October 3, 2010
After Meryem is found in a field, left for dead there is much commotion about what is to be done, the village leader says that she must be put to death because she is a mark on the village. It is the duty of his eldest son Cemal to kill her in Istanbul away from the prying eyes of the government officials that are in their small town. Upon arriving to Istanbul Cemal finds that he cannot kill her, and instead they run away. Cemal is very harsh towards Meryem at first, he bullies her and expects her to do "women's work," at one point he even refers to her as a whore and slaps her. Eventually the two start to work for an ex college professor who attempts to educate them about the world and the way it works. Cemal is reluctant to advance in his belief's (he had just been relieved from the military when he arrived to the village, and appears to have some issues because of this) and let go of what he has learned. Meryem, on the other hand, who is even less educated than Cemal is very open to learning about the world, despite missing her home village very much. Eventually (with some help from the Professor) Cemal realizes that his problems stem from the fact that he loves Meryem and through some commotion involving a chase scene, a flashback style montage and some screaming we learn that it was Cemal's father (the village leader) who raped Meryem.
Islam is a religion currently up for a lot of debate, with many people pointing fingers and saying that the religion itself breeds contempt. This film is an attempt to "debunk" this myth, so to speak and bring to light that any religion can be a bad thing when manipulated to pursue any kind of personal wealth. A prime example is the fact that no one in the movie ever explicitly says that they are Muslim, in fact there are almost no references to Islam in the entire movie. It is implied that they are muslims because the movie is set in Turkey, although the plot could arguably be put in any country/religion and the message would be the same. Cemal being so rude to Meryem, and his uncontrollable anger seem to imply that both of them are suffering in different ways from their country's (or religion's) flaws, but the movie ends with Cemal returning to the village and confronting his father. He does not kill him, but walks away. There seems to be some kind of peace about Cemal when he does this, it is Cemal finally removing himself from the hold his father had on him and freeing himself of such restrictions, he is his own man.The gun is left with Meryem's cowardly father who shoots his daughter's rapist himself, he had been under the impression that he was doing the right thing by listening to Cemal's father, despite the weak attempts he made to save her. Meryem's father is liberated by killing Cemal's father, the man who used custom, religion and his sons to manipulate those around him. This movie combines custom, romance, mystery and religion to illustrate that Islam (or religion) isn't bad, or wrong but the people who use it to their own gain are.