Ashes 2024 Movie Review
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Ashes 2024 Movie Review

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Ashes (2024) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

Gokce (Funda Eryigit) and Kenan (Mehmet Gunsur) are happily married. Or so it seems. They live in their minimalist and reeking-of-luxury house with their only son. Hosting parties, having delicious food in perfectly shaped dishes, and occasional marital sex. Seemingly everything a couple with a pre-teen boy would need. However, all of these activities seem to fail to elicit satisfaction in Gokce. Kenan owns a publishing house and he is quite busy at that, Gokce also immerses herself in her work as the owner of a boutique.

Things change for Gokce when she reads a manuscript sent to Kenan’s publishing house. This manuscript is titled ‘Ashes’ (‘Kul’ in Turkish). The story in the manuscript is centered around a married woman who is ‘looking for more’ in life. Like Gokce. It speaks about a mysterious man named ‘M,’ whom the heroine meets in a bakery. As if driven by some unknown force, Gokce finds the bakery. This place is in the old part of the city. A radical contrast from her modern, minimalist, and frankly corporate surroundings.

Predictably Gokce meets a mysteriously brooding man whose name starts with M, Metin (Alperen Duymaz). Again, as if pushed by an unseen hand, Gokce barges into the man’s life. Metin’s rugged physique, no doubt coming from physical labor as a carpenter, seems to sway Gokce. Under the guise of employing Metin to make a mirror, Gokce ensures her acquaintanceship with Metin continues. The manuscript’s words and Gokce’s innate desire further cement the affair. The manuscript mentions a ‘tower’ as if it is a magical thing where ‘M’ wowed the author. Metin shows Gokce the place and gives her a memorable night.

All the while, Gokce’s husband, Kenan remains aloof. But as Gokce fails to play her supposed wife/mother role, Kenan cannot remain aloof. While gallivanting through the beautifully old Turkish cityscapes with Metin, Gokce ignores calls from her son’s school. The day she visits the tower and loses herself there, she fails to come to a pre-arranged program as her husband’s date. As her relationship with her husband deteriorates, and Metin starts to gulf her life, Gokce reaches the end of the manuscript’s story. The author claims that ‘M’ murdered her.

Ashes (2024) Movie Review:

With “Ashes,” it appears that director Tepegoz and writer Isik sincerely wanted to make a clever, psychosexual thriller. Something along the lines of the magnificent “Decision to Leave” by Park Chan-wook. The motif is similar to many stories of such ilk. Not-so-subtle hints of a spouse neglected by their other halves. In this case, the wife is let down by the husband. Emotionally and Sexually. A mid-life crisis making the woman wanting for more. Pushing her towards the mysterious embrace of a stranger.

One of the very first troubles of “Ashes” is that it could not find the balance of love and bodily desire. The lead couple, driven by the forbidden love taboo, are shown to be as giddily in love as the leads of any Hallmark movie. And “Ashes” tries to paint this with cliches escapades through beautiful landscapes (good on cinematographer Hayk Kirakosyan). As if that was not enough, director Tepegoz tries to establish the romance through a constant barrage of repetitive music. A sign of lacking conviction in the images.

Thus it is not unsurprising that the romance between Metin and Gokce, played by Alperen Duymaz and Funda Eryigit, comes across as inorganic and trite. Especially if you compare that with the sexual chemistry they showed in their steamier scenes. By the time the film moves towards its “Thriller” zone, it is running on fumes. And the twists do not land as cleverly as “Ashes” hoped. Or they land a little too cleverly for the drag that preceded them. Duymaz and Eryigit have a natural chemistry during the erotic scenes, but not so much otherwise. Mehmet Gunsur is fine as the ‘other’ factor.

Ashes 2024 Movie Review

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