Cici (2022) Movie Review – A confusing insight into the depths of grief, remorse and nostalgia that falls flat

A confusing insight into the depths of grief, remorse and nostalgia that falls flat

This Turkish tragi-drama on Netflix primarily focuses on a family that leaves their small village and relocates to the city after experiencing a terrible loss – the passing of an abusive father. The movie centers primarily on the events surrounding the family’s return after a 30-year absence, only to revisit the devastating revelation. They soon encounter a range of complex feelings and heartbreaking revelations that either permanently separates them or make them more connected than before.

On a Turkish pasture in the 1970’s, the late Mr. Bekir rules his household with absolute authority during the first section of the sentimental drama. Havva, his spouse, despises him for treating his kids poorly and for cheating on her. The elder son Kadir frequently receives strikes from Bekir. Furthermore, he doesn’t allow his children to attend school. Saliha, his child, slips away for warm dates with Cemil, a boy who works on the property. After punishing Kadir one day, suddenly the patriarch gets ill and passes away.

When the traditional and occasionally violent patriarchal head of the household passes away from a severe cold and illness, their mom Haava takes charge of the dysfunctional family and takes her young kids from the town in hopes of a good future. Kadir, the second son who endured the most hardship as a child, discovers his voice as a moviemaker and uses cinema to communicate his suppressed feelings. This is the main theme of Berkun Oya’s movie.

The Turkish word “Cici” means “beautiful” or “pleasant”, which is a little deceptive in relation to this movie’s lengthy, slow-burning tragic storyline. The tragi-drama is a confusing insight into the depths of grief, remorse, and nostalgia.

Overall, the performances are impressive, and there are some excellent cinematographic sequences. The latter is the movie’s strongest component. The movie’s director of photography is skilled in lighting as well which is reflected in the movie. Magnificent scenery is showcased in the movie, and we are also exposed to charming folk music.

The primary issue with Cici is just how slow it is, despite the excellent performances. The movie has several static shots, giving it an almost theatrical aspect. Scenes frequently recur since one of the characters works as a moviemaker. There are a lot of unnecessary dialogues because the siblings’ relationships are rarely explored and addressed. Additionally, several dialogues in the movie appear to be empty and meaningless.

Nothing is ever revealed regarding Kadir’s movie. Even while the characters are discussing it, they limit his storyline to the one scene where his father punished him by angrily spraying him with a gardening hose. As a matter of fact, it isn’t even the most upsetting thing we witnessed Bekir doing. Furthermore, the movie also devotes a significant amount of time trying to introduce Cemil in an effort to spark a budding romance between him and Saliha. It also tries to showcase some kind of rivalry between him and Kadir. But in the end, everything is in vain as Cemil’s biggest contribution to the plot is nothing other than his erratic bursts of singing during the most inappropriate moments.

Very little is added to the story by the secondary characters that are introduced in the later part either. Saliha’s kid Naz is an obnoxious edgy teenager who only fits the stereotype. Yusuf’s wife and kid are so unimportant to the plot that they could have been left out of the movie.

One simply doesn’t learn anything about the protagonists or their underlying traumas by the movie’s conclusion. It depicts them as living in their own bubbles, but it fails to persuade the audience that their connections mean anything. Even though they all had difficult upbringings because of their father, they all insist that the patriarch’s passing made matters worse.

Although the movie appears to have a compelling storyline, it is poorly executed. Some scenes are repeated, and when it’s important, we aren’t provided further context in other scenes. The filmmaker somehow skips over information that we don’t truly grasp, assuming that we already know it. Since trauma is at the core of the story, the movie should have done much more with that theme, but it hardly touches it.

Even though Cici explores sensitive issues like trauma, suppressing emotions, and guilt, it is extremely disappointing when you are unable to empathize or feel anything for any of the characters. Sadly, despite the premise indicating that the movie has potential, it falls flat.


Read More: Cici Ending Explained

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  • Verdict - 4/10

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