Started in 2007 to keep a track of gay films that I watched, this blog has come much further than I had planned. There are tons of movies that I need to watch and review here. Through this blog, I want to give you genuine, my personal heart-felt review of the films that I see. These are my personal thoughts and opinions about the films and I would love to hear your thoughts on these films as well. I always reply to comments in a day or two. Please help me make my blog more popular by becoming a member, following it and by recommending it to your friends. As far as I know this is one of the very very few gay movie review blogs where reviews are not linked or copy-paste imdb summary. Enjoy and do keep writing your feedback.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hamam: The Turkish Bath (Italian/Turkish)

This film is Ferzan Ozpetek's first film. I have mentioned numerous time on this blog on my fascination for the films he has directed, so I was eagerly looking forward to watching this film as this was his debut. I must say, my expectations were completely met and I was again very happy and satisfied watching his cinema. There is some sort of authenticity, simplicity, complexity of relationships and the family values that make you watch his films and appreciate them.

Francesco and his wife Marta live in Rome and they run a small design company. One day Francesco finds out that his long forgotten aunt Anita has died in Istanbul and has left him her house. When he reaches Istanbul, he discovers that the house is actually an old hamam, in an old original part of Istanbul. Due to the downfall of the tradition, the hamam lost its appeal and had to be closed down. Francesco also finds the letters that his aunt wrote to his mom but never posted. He meets the family who was taking care of his aunt and his happily surprised by their kindness and simplicity. With their support Francesco decides to rebuild the hamam. He gets all support from the family and neighborhood and also find love in Mehmet, the son of the family. Francesco finally realizes that he might actually be  gay. When Marta comes to Istanbul, she initially finds it very hard to adjust and the real reason of her to come there is to break up with Francesco since she had been sleeping with another guy for past 2 years. One day she finds Francesco and Mehmet together kissing in the hamam and she picks up a fight and leaves the house. Francesco then gets murdered by the construction company who was trying to buy the hamam and other houses in the area to build a farm. Finally, Marta stays back because now she understands where Francesco was coming from and will now fulfill his dream.

This film as earlier projected in US is not a cheap gay thrill. Its actually a shame that they had to resort to such cheap gimmicks to market this film when the film otherwise is so brilliant in the first place. Except for one kiss between the 2 men, there is nothing cheesy, bad pr erotic about this film. The film is about finding true place in life physically and emotionally. Its about finding love and happiness in what you do. The love between the family, the 2 men, their kindness, everything is so charming to watch. My eyes were wet and with a smile on my face, I was enjoying every minute of the film. The characters were so spot on. Happy been related and be close to Turkey for 5 years now, I could see so much authenticity in the way the characters were portrayed. All the actors did a fantastic job and yes it indeed is a worthy debut as a director with equally charming follow-ups.

It's really a beautiful film, both in scenery, sentiment and depth of feeling. (8/10)


Pitbullshark said...

This is one of my favorite films, ever. The music in it is fantastic. The film is very poetic; the letters written by the aunt are amazing. The Turkish family is wonderful, very generous and loving. The Turkish lover, Mehmet, is beautiful. The whole movie is a love tribute to Istanbul.

Golu said...

You are absolutely right buddy. Every word you said. Because of the movie poster, for the longest time, I thought this would be like a sleazy movie and had been postponing to watch it but I was so so happy to having watched it.