An unimaginative Turkish thriller
Dull and painfully cliched, Grudge (Kin as it’s colloquially known as) is the latest Turkish thriller on Netflix. While it’s not an outright bad film per-se, it’s a very unimaginative one, armed with weak, archetypal characters, an unlikable protagonist and tired, obvious twists that you’ll see a mile off. It’s actually a shame because the story starts out quite promisingly.
Celebrated police inspector Harun is our main character here, and heads out that evening to celebrate a big promotion at work. After fobbing off his wife and kid to revel in his own glories (see what I mean about unlikable) he’s immediately swept up into a big conspiracy.
It turns out this taxi driver is a hired assassin, who tries to kill Harun out at an abandoned forest. One thing leads to another and Harun kills the man in self-defence. When this same deceased man appears atop a huge crane in view of everyone the next day, Harun is thrown reluctantly into the investigation, trying his best to cover his own tracks while finding out who the real culprit behind this is.
What follows is a simple enough investigation, with very little deviation from the obviously orchestrated twists early on. Rookie Tuncay does start to piece together Harun’s involvement in this, and slowly becomes a more focal part of the story the longer the film goes on. There’s also a whole host of archetypal suspects, witnesses and secondary character that join these two but they don’t really do much in the story.
All of this leads to a big reveal over who the mastermind behind all of this is, including a conventional stand-off where we’re greeted with some monologues to explain their actions. It’s all very simple stuff but given how bloated this genre is already, Grudge adds absolutely nothing new or different to justify its existence.
This Turkish film is not helped either by a cheap production design, with very-obviously-filmed-on-a-set interior car scenes, music that just sporadically cuts in and out of shots, lackadaisical editing and some questionable acting too. There’s even a moment late on where one of the actresses on-screen yawns, despite the subtitles claiming she’s gasping. It’s either bad acting or an attempt to disguise some very-obvious boredom. Either way, it’s not a particularly glowing endorsement for this one.
And this pretty much sums up Grudge. There’s not really anything here worth getting excited about and the film struggles to deviate from the very obvious and cliched path it chooses for the story. The film isn’t outright yawn-inducing but it’s nowhere near good enough to warrant spending 100 minutes of your time with.