With Istanbul mired in political violence, Kadir is offered release after 15 years in prison if he’ll work as an informant. In a shantytown he stumbles upon his brother Ahmet, working for the city rounding up stray dogs and shutting himself in his home.


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  • ★★★½ review by JMSavoyBoy on Letterboxd

    TIFF 2015

    This was the only TIFF film I was able to make it down to this year, due to a very busy schedule and a utter lack of planning. And when you don't properly plan your festival, you end up taking what you can get. So that is how I came to see 'Frenzy'.

    'Frenzy' is about a man released from jail early in Istanbul after he is recruited to become a police informant. He is released into a city that is straining under the presence of political crimes and terrorism, a city strife with paranoia. Upon his release he attempts to reconnect with his younger brother, who he finds at a crossroads in life.

    This is a tense, almost stressful movie to watch. You can feel the tension oozing out of the screen an enveloping the viewer. Too me, it was a movie about paranoia, suspecting your neighbors, and the stresses of living in the current climate of the Middle East. The acting is strong, particularity from the lead actor, and it had a strong soundtrack. It was different in a good way, and I left feeling as though my gamble had paid off.

    If Emin Alper directs another movie that becomes available in North America again, I would go see it. In fact, Turkey has produced some strong cinema of late.

  • ★★★★ review by Sercan Şahin on Letterboxd

    "Tepenin Ardı" ile tanıdığımız Emin Alper'in ikinci filmi. İlk filme göre daha akıcı ve sinematografik anlamda daha sağlam bir film. İki filmde de erkek egemen yapı, içiçe geçen rüya-gerçek sekansları göze çarpan ortak özelliklerden başlıcaları. Abluka hakkında yönetmenin "politik psikolojik gerilim" tanımı, filmi 3 kelimede özetlemektedir. Ahmet'in köpekleri itlafı, devletin terörist avına metaforik bir gönderme olarak göze çarpıyor, film içinde bu itlaf sahnelerinin neden uzun tutulduğunu açıklıyor. Devlet aygıtının başarısızlığa uğradıkça daha da sertleştiğini, bunun sonucunda masum-suçlu ayırımını önemsemeden kendinden olmayan herkese saldırdığını, mikro ölçekte ise devlet adına çalışan Kadir'in sanrılarının bu durumla paralellik taşıdığını söyleyebiliriz. Oyunculuklar genel olarak başarılı, gereksiz yere müzik kullanılmaması hoş. Koyu, gri atmosferi ve gökdelenler arasındaki gecekondu mahallesi oldukça uyumlu ve anlatımı kuvvetlendirmektedir. Tülin Özen gibi çok güzel ve alımlı bir kadının dizüstü eteklerle o mahallede dolaşamayacağını, elin adamıyla gece vakti tavla atamayacağını bildiğimiz için biraz eğreti durduğunu belirtelim. İşin özü kendini izleten, distopya'dan ziyade bizdeki acı gerçeklerden sadece birini anlatan filmimiz, mutlaka izlenmeli.

  • ★★★★ review by mbulutay on Letterboxd

    A masterpiece from Turkish auteur director Emin Alper. A psychological thriller about family and city gerillas in a distanced part of Istanbul. Thé photography is particularly fabulous and the non linear timing of the story is remarkablly innovative. We don't use to see this kind of thrillers from Turkey.

  • ★★★★½ review by Efe Dasman on Letterboxd




    These are one of the numerous graffities carved onto the walls of a suburban district of Istanbul. They really are, not made for any art directorship purposes. Even though we do not know where exactly film was shot, there are possible guesses. For example, Gazi district in Istanbul, one of the most "dangerous" places in Istanbul. So if you are a foreigner, I do not recommend you to go there. Yet recommendation does not mean that they do not exist. They exist, the lives and places, the blockade exist.

    P.S.: The exact translation of the film's title, "abluka" means "blockade", not "frenzy". But it is interesting why the name frenzy is chosen, which I will explain further.

    Frenzy is about a man named Kadir (Mehmet Özgür) who goes on parole with a job that was given to him. If he performs well, he will be released. The job consists of gathering information from a terrorist organization (which we don't know which one). Disguised as a paper collector, Kadir's main purpose is to find people that are connected to the organization. After a time, he suspects his brother Ahmet (Berkay Ateş), and his friends. What we see after that is constant paranoia from different perspectives, and of course the violence of the ruler.

    It is not an easy task to write about fascism. Especially, fascism in Turkish cinema because Turkish cinema is predominantly fascist. Apart from some films of the late, Turkish directors choose not to show fascism but to make a fascist film. Since it is not the point of this review, I will not talk further in this subject.

    Instinctual paranoia and the violence of the ruler are the main subjects of director Emin Alper’s filmography. His debut film “Tepenin Ardı” (Above the Hill) shows how an unseen/unknown thing can destroy the bonds of the people you love. Same thing applies here, isolation drives people crazy because one always wants to know what others are doing. Speaking of isolation, it is clear that the chosen location reflects what the film is about to tell: Isolation inside isolation. In a district which no entrance and exit is allowed, people just live, nothing else. Just live. You can think how a situation goes crazier than this. Well, it goes.

    When looking at fascism general in world cinema, Hungarian cinema of late can be a very good example. Not because his nibs Bela Tarr, but because his successor Kornél Mundruczó. Both directors know exactly what happened to Hungary during communism, and what is happening to the country after third republic: Fascism! Turkish director Emin Alper is also well aware of what is happening to them, as well as what is happening to his country. So his inspirations of Hungarian cinema is well chosen. Just to give examples of such inspirations, I can say changing points of view in Frenzy like Bela Tarr’s Satantango, and the dog scene (or the whole idea of dogs) like Kornél Mundruczó’s White God. However, it is not a spoiler review, so I will not go into detail.

    One may go into isolation if he desires. One may decides not to talk to his relatives if he desires. One may do anything against the rules if he desires. The idea of desire is the direct reflection of human will. Hence, his or her freedom. But can we talk about human will when he or she is inherently isolated. How one reacts when locked into some place or somewhere that one does not understand the idea of freedom (or what the world behind the borders) is like? What does violence mean when one does not comprehend others? What does “others” mean when you are not exactly part of a group, or even “one” at all? It’s just frenzy.

    Fearlessly adding some ideas into practice that Turkish directors often overlook, Frenzy is one of the best Turkish films of the year.

  • ★★★½ review by Dimitris Dx on Letterboxd

    Η Τουρκία του «Frenzy» του Εμίν Αλπέρ είναι ένας τόπος όπου υπάρχει μηδαμινή εμπιστοσύνη ακόμα και μεταξύ αδερφών, ο κάθε γείτονας υποπτεύεται τις δραστηριότητες του διπλανού του και η παράνοια αποτελεί την μοναδική διέξοδο του καθεστώτος Ερντογάν, όπου τα πάντα βρίσκονται υπό έλεγχο και συνεχή παρακολούθηση. Με τις τρομοκρατικές επιθέσεις στην Κωνσταντινούπολη σταθερά στο φόντο, ο Αλπέρ στήνει μια σταδιακή κάθοδο στον εφιάλτη όπου τα γεγονότα επιδέχονται υποκειμενικών ερμηνειών και η κάθε πράξη θα μπορούσε να αποτελέσει προϊόν συνωμοσίας ή και απειλής για να οδηγήσει τους πρωταγωνιστές του σε μια σύγκρουση με τον εαυτό τους από όπου δύσκολα θα βγούνε νικητές. Ακόμα κι αν η ταινία έχει μερικές αστοχίες στον ρυθμό της, το τελικό αποτέλεσμα παραμένει επαρκώς έντονο και σαφές στον στόχο του ώστε να δημιουργήσει μια ατμόσφαιρα θρίλερ, όπου η επανένταξη στην κοινωνία μετά από την φυλακή ίσως να μην είναι η καλύτερη λύση. Φανταστικό παιχνίδι με τις σκιές, επίσης.

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